House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is facing intense pressure from all sides on how to approach a vote on President Joe Biden’s “bipartisan,” $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, which has been tied by some Democrats, including Pelosi, to another whopper of a bill jam-packed with $3.5 trillion worth of “human infrastructure.”
According to Breitbart, Pelosi’s job just became even more difficult after it was revealed that several House Democrats are now pressuring Pelosi to “untie” the first bill from the second, more expensive $3.5 trillion budget bill, citing fears that passing such bill via reconciliation will further aggravate growing concerns of inflation.
“As soon as the Senate completes its work, we must bring this bipartisan infrastructure bill to the House floor for a standalone vote,” two House Democrats wrote.
What’s going on?
Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Jared Golden (D-ME) tossed a surprising wrench in the gears this week as they warned Pelosi that it’s better to take a vote on only the first $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and get it passed.
Pelosi had originally signaled that the first bill wouldn’t get a vote if the second, enormously expensive bill didn’t come along with it.
The aforementioned Dem lawmakers made clear in the letter that they strongly support the passage of the “standalone” infrastructure bill, while suggesting to Pelosi that she table the second bill, citing inflation concerns and worries that the money needed to pay for such a monstrosity might be needed in the near future for more pandemic-related funds.
“Separately, as we begin the reconciliation process, we have concerns about the specific components of that potential package,” the Dem reps wrote, referencing the second, $3.5 trillion bill that Senate Democrats have vowed to pass without Republican support.
They added: “These specifics are crucial, particularly given the combined threat of rising inflation, national debt, and the trillions recently, and appropriately, allocated to the COVID-19 emergency.”
What happens next?
On Tuesday, CNBC reported, the Senate successfully passed Biden’s infrastructure bill, meaning that it now heads to Pelosi’s House for a vote, though obviously, the next steps are still up in the air, as it’s not clear if Pelosi will recant on her vow to only move ahead if both bills were sent to her by the Senate.
Senate Democrats, who will return briefly for a few days in mid-September before resuming normal duties at the end of September, are set on passing the second bill through budget reconciliation, meaning they don’t need any Republican support.
However, as CNBC noted, gaining party-line support for the bill’s passage, especially from moderates in the party, could be challenging given the tax hikes involved.
Only time will tell how Pelosi decides to proceed, but she could soon face mounting pressure from Biden’s White House in addition to Dem colleagues to hold a vote on — and pass — Biden’s legacy infrastructure bill.