House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ruled against placing $ 1 trillion in infrastructure bills on the floor Thursday night, according to a leadership aide, after the progressives rebelled, consideration was potentially delayed until Democrats made an agreement on a separate, larger social safety net and climate law .
Pelosi’s decision came after hours of intense negotiations, including a call to President Biden and crushing meetings and calls to members of the House Democratic caucus.
The stance of progressives today: Liberal Democrats are confident this week that they have the numbers to block the bill, which will spend hundreds of billions of dollars on upgrading roads, bridges, transportation, rail, broadband, airports, ports and waterways.
They hope their hardball tactics will push the moderates to support their top priority: a $ 3.5 trillion charge known as the Build Back Better Act. That law will expand the child tax credit and Medicare’s ability to cover vision, hearing and dental care, fund community college and universal pre-kindergarten initiatives, combat climate change, and fund aged care and paid vacation programs . The $ 3.5 trillion bill will be paid, somehow, by major tax increases on corporations and the wealthy.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders told CNN that the infrastructure deal should be “defeated” and rebuked against Pelosi’s late -night deal -making effort.
“It’s an absurd way to do business, to negotiate a multi-trillion-dollar bill minutes before a major vote that almost no one knows what’s going on,” Sanders said. “That’s unacceptable. And I think what should happen is tonight, the bipartisan infrastructure bill should be beaten. And we can sit down and work out a way to pass both laws.”
Progressives said they would keep their support for the bipartisan infrastructure package until moderators called them a deal on the Build Back Better Act. Washington state Rep. Pramila Jayapal, the Congressional chair of the Progressive Caucus, told CNN that she is not worried that her liberal colleagues will be destroyed.
The stance of the moderates today: Pelosi’s effort to pass the infrastructure bill today is complicated by West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, who said Thursday he would support a smaller, $ 1.5 trillion charge expanding the social safety net, and Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Cinema. The two moderate Senate Democrats met for nearly 45 minutes on Thursday night, as they tried to find a way forward on both the infrastructure and Build Back Better plans.
With a split Senate and a thin grip on the House, Democrats are using their power to ensure their colleagues support their bills, which make up the agenda within Biden.
What’s next: House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer confirmed in a statement that the House will “remain in recess subject to the Chairman’s call on the same legislative day as Sept. 30, and will meet again no earlier than 9:30 a.m. tomorrow. “
Members were “further advised” that the House expected “complete consideration” on the infrastructure bill tomorrow.
A White House official said they also expect talks to continue tomorrow on the framework for a larger social spending plan.