Infrastructure vote postponed despite Pelosi’s efforts to push: ‘We don’t have it yet’

House Democrats scrapped plans Thursday to vote on a bipartisan Senate infrastructure deal after the leadership and White House failed to bring progressives and moderates together behind the path for President Joe Biden’s broader agenda .

“The President is grateful to Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer for their exceptional leadership, and to Members from across the Democratic Caucus who have worked diligently over the past few days to try to reach an agreement on how to proceed with the Infrastructure Bill and the Build Back the better plan, ”White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement Thursday night. “A great deal of progress has been made this week, and we’re closer to an agreement than ever. But we don’t have it yet, and so, we’ll need more time to finish the work, starting tomorrow first thing . “

“While Democrats have some differences, we share common goals of creating great union jobs, building a clean energy future, cutting taxes for working families and small businesses, helping that give those families a breather on basic costs – and do so without adding to the deficit, by making those at the top pay their fair share, ”Psaki added.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Left the Capitol just after midnight, and told Rachel Scott that progressives and moderates would sooner reach an agreement on the size of their social policy package than appeared in one week.

“We’re not a trillion-dollar gap,” Pelosi said.

Asked about the vote on the Senate -approved infrastructure measure that didn’t take place Thursday, Pelosi said, “There will be a vote today,” which seems to be a reference to the legislative calendar.

The decision to delay the vote came after Pelosi insisted on Thursday morning that he planned to proceed with a vote in bipartisan infrastructure fees – despite progressive Democrats vowing to defeat it.

“We’re on track to win. I don’t want to consider any options other than that,” Pelosi told reporters at his weekly news conference. “We came in here to win it.”

Earlier, when he arrived on Capitol Hill, a reporter stressed that the bill faces “unresolved opposition right now,” Pelosi replied that “our plan” is to bring the bill to vote Thursday, he self -imposed deadline.

“Hour by hour,” he replied. “Just a moment. I’m hourly.”

“You can’t tire. You can’t concede. This is the fun part,” Pelosi said later at her news conference. “Our best interests are served by passing this bill today.”

However his comments suggested that the House was in a holding pattern, with no firm decision on whether to hold or cancel the vote.

“We are moving in a very positive direction,” Pelosi said clearly, though the schedule has not yet been scheduled for the House floor and his top lieutenants have said none of the votes will be passed.

Meanwhile, the White House did not release Biden who was heading to Capitol Hill Thursday to make a last -minute push on House Democrats before the big vote.

While lawmakers are expected to agree separately on a government funding resolution with hours to spare Thursday, the outcome of the House vote on the $ 1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill – central to Biden’s agenda – is in serious still skepticism.

Pelosi spent the afternoon meeting with various factions of his caucus. Although progressives left the meeting to suppress support for the infrastructure bill that was not in progress on the Democrats ’larger agenda, two groups of moderates left the meetings with Pelosi predicting a vote later. of Thursday night.

Progressive Democrats are confident they’ll beat the bipartisan bill to the floor – to the embarrassment of Pelosi who vowed to pass the measure this week – none of the successes in the larger policy spending package. Those victories seem unlikely as negotiations between the White House and Democratic Sens. Kyrsten Cinema and Joe Manchin, who are opposed to the $ 3.5 trillion package price, have fallen.

Nearly half of the nearly 100 -member progressive caucus – at least 50 members, driven by Sen. Bernie Sanders – has vowed to vote no on the bipartisan bill, effectively holding it until a larger infrastructure bill is passed through the conciliation process. .

As progressives slammed Manchin and Cinema for their opposition to the larger package, Pelosi praised Manchin at his news conference, calling the West Virginia Democrat “a good member of Congress” and saying the negotiations were focused on ” substance “rather than” rhetoric “or” dollars. “

At noon, Manchin told reporters his topline number for the larger bill – which he passed on to Biden – was $ 1.5 trillion, something that hardens progressive opposition and puts the House vote at risk.

Trying to reassure progressives as well, Pelosi said Thursday’s members should “remove all doubt” that there would be no consensus bill following Thursday’s bipartisan vote.

“We’re going to have an adjustment bill. That’s for sure. Now the question is about. We’re moving forward in a very positive way to get the bill forward, to get the” BIF “(the bipartisan infrastructure bill) forward, and to do so in a way that can win. And so far very well for now, it’s going in a positive direction, “she said.

Pelosi, who met with his leadership team before the news conference, indicates that getting a bigger bid on human infrastructure and climate policy is important to him and his legacy.

“I just told members of my leadership that the reconciliation bill is a culmination of my service to Congress because it is about children,” he said.

But progressives appear to be firmly in opposition.

Progressive Caucus Congressman Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., Reiterated on Thursday that progressives are in “the same place” and will not vote to pass the bipartisan bill unless there is agreement with moderate Democratic senators on a larger social spending package.

“We will not be able to vote for the infrastructure bill until the bill is passed in conciliation,” Jayapal told reporters after a meeting with Pelosi.

“It’s not about trusting the speaker, it’s not about trusting the president, it’s really about the vote as an ironclad assurance from the Senate,” he added, referring to Manchin and Sinema.

In her White House interview at dinner, press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters, “We’re working hard to win a vote tonight. We still have a lot of time left in the day.”

He added, “We know that compromise is inevitable. We’ve also seen that play in the last few days. And so far, we’re clearly strong.

Pelosi told ABC News’ George Newshanopoulos on “This Week” that “he’s not bringing a bill to the floor without votes” – raising questions about whether he’ll stop voting at 11 o’clock.

Asked on Sunday by Stephanopoulos if he was confident progressive members would vote, Pelosi replied, “Well, let me just say that we will pass the bill this week.”

Biden came out of the White House Wednesday night, rubbing elbows at the congressional game with his former colleagues, who looked good -natured, amid tight legislative negotiations, while Pelosi appeared to make the final minutes of lobbying on his cell phone, at an infrastructure bill betting show that passed this week – as opposed to later.

The $ 3.5 trillion progressive is forcing the House to pass before or at the same time because of the $ 1.2 trillion package that includes significant new investments in health care, child care, higher education, worker training, and compensation. family and medical vacation that includes 12 weeks paid family and medical leave for most working Americans.


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