Pelosi Delays Infrastructure Vote While Dems Bicker
Pelosi Delays Infrastructure Vote While Dems Bicker
Nancy Pelosi has a real job on her hands, and one that she can’t blame Republicans for.
This week, Pelosi needs to deal with things that Joe Biden really wants in order to give himself some legislative wins – the “bipartisan” infrastructure bill that costs $1 trillion, and the “Build Back Better” progressive wish list bill that will run $3.5 trillion.
Even by the standards of a Capitol used to operating under pressure, this week’s maelstrom of legislative and fiscal crosscurrents is setting the stage for an extraordinary sprint. Democratic leaders are trying to shepherd two complicated legislative packages: a roughly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and a sprawling healthcare, education and climate package whose proposed $3.5 trillion price tag and contents are still under intense debate within the party.”
So, why is Pelosi on the hot seat, trying to get her caucus in line to vote for these bills? Well, the socialists in the House are determined to get their trillions of dollars in progressive goodies – so determined, in fact, that they are willing to tank the infrastructure bill in order to get what they want. Representative Pramila Jayapal, Squad den mother and chair of the “Progressive Caucus,” has been pretty upfront about this.
A deal’s a deal. We don’t pass the infrastructure bill without passing the Build Back Better Act, investing in child care, climate action, paid leave, housing, health care, education, and a roadmap to citizenship.
Let’s get this done and deliver for the people.
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) September 26, 2021
No wonder Nancy Pelosi is gritting her dentures. The infrastructure bill has already passed the Senate, which means the House, under her control, is the one holding it up. (By contrast, neither the House or the Senate has voted on the “Build Back Better” boondoggle.) Joe Biden even stepped in on Sunday to talk with Congressional members, and admitted that Pelosi doesn’t have the votes yet.
Biden spoke with lawmakers over the weekend on the path forward, according to a White House official who requested anonymity to discuss the private conversations. Extensive work was being done behind the scenes to shore up support.”
When asked Sunday if Pelosi had the votes to pass the $1 trillion infrastructure bill, Biden told reporters at the White House, “It’s going to take the better part of this week.”
Pelosi went on ABC on Sunday morning with George Stephanopoulos and didn’t sound really happy about how things were going.
Pelosi had initially promised that the House vote on the infrastructure bill would take place today. Yesterday, she danced around a possible delay in that vote when being interviewed.
“Let me just say that we’re going to pass the bill this week,” Pelosi, D-Calif., said earlier Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” She added: “I’m never bringing a bill to the floor that doesn’t have the votes. You cannot choose the date. You have to go when you have the votes in a reasonable time, and we will.”
Well, apparently that “reasonable time” will not be Monday, but Thursday. In a “dear colleague” letter released on Sunday night, Pelosi announced that she was pushing the infrastructure vote to later in the week.
Tomorrow, September 27, we will begin debate on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework on the Floor of the House and vote on it on Thursday, September 30, the day on which the surface transportation authorization expires.”
Pelosi not only has to wrangle with the progressives who want to hold the infrastructure bill hostage, she’s dealing with the moderates in her caucus that are looking at the pricetag of the “Build Back Better” monstrosity and are balking. After all, there is no way that a $3.5 trillion wish list can “cost zero dollars.”
Biden thinks his $3.5 trillion reckless spending plan "costs zero dollars"?
He is very confused. https://t.co/aNUyBnq5Up
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) September 26, 2021
Math, how does it work? Heads up, Joe – you can only “tax the rich” so much before they take their money somewhere else. And you know who realizes this? The two senators in charge of the Senate. No, not Schumer and McConnell.
Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona have said they won’t support a bill of that size. Manchin has previously proposed spending of $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion, an amount that progressives have called unacceptable for a bill they originally envisioned at $6 trillion.”
Pelosi, who is not a political dummy, seems willing to concede the point to Manchin and Sinema.
Asked on ABC if she agrees the final number on the so-called reconciliation bill will be “somewhat smaller” than $3.5 trillion, Pelosi responded: “That seems self-evident.”
“We’ll see how the number comes down and what we need,” she added. “Again, the Senate and the House, those who are not in full agreement with the president, right, let’s see what our values — let’s not talk about numbers and dollars. Let’s talk about values.”
“I think even those who want a smaller number, support the vision of the president, and this is really transformative.”
However, she is doing a delicate balancing act between those Democrats who will blowout the budget for their “values,” and those who DO want to talk about the “numbers and dollars.” If any of those sweet, sweet goodies get trimmed out of the pork barrel bill, you can be sure that the progressives will scream. And if the bill stays as it is, well, it might not have enough Democrat votes to pass. That’s a pretty precarious balancing act for an 81 year old woman to pull off – and there are exactly zero Republicans willing to bail her out.
We shall see if San Fran Nan can pull off this hat trick, or if she will be left holding a carrot but no bunny rabbit to show for her efforts.
Featured image: original Victory Girls art by Darleen Click