House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is clearly under mounting stress as she attempts to unite progressives and moderates in her party behind a pair of massive spending bills.
This week, she was reportedly caught on camera snapping at a reporter, potentially revealing signs of the pressure she was under on Capitol Hill.
“A duty to uphold”
Amid a looming government shutdown, lawmakers had yet to come to any sort of agreement on raising the national debt limit as of the incident involving Pelosi and a reporter on Wednesday. A reporter pressed her on the possibility that a debt limit extension might not pass in the Senate, asking: “Why get mad at members, why twist the arms of moderates if this is not going to move anywhere?”
His premise was a clear reference to moderate Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), both of whom have refused to get in line behind the larger $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill.
Pelosi snaps at a reporter questioning her strategy on the debt ceiling: “What are you talking about?!” pic.twitter.com/1vsgvDkGjS
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 29, 2021
Pelosi appeared annoyed by the reporter’s question, pausing for a moment before responding: “What are you talking about?”
She went on to declare that lawmakers “have a duty to uphold, to lift up the full faith and credit of the United States of America” and let the political chips fall where they may.
“I have no patience”
“So let us give every confidence every step of the way that we will do that,” Pelosi said. “We cannot predicate our actions in the House on what could happen in the Senate. We can when we’re coming to agreement on a bill — but in terms of this, I have no patience for people not voting for that.”
After initially vowing to link the budget bill with the smaller bipartisan infrastructure proposal, the House speaker has since rescinded that promise to the displeasure of progressives in her caucus.
Democrats on the left refuse to support the infrastructure bill until they have been able to vote on the larger package. Moderates in the party, however, want to vote on the smaller bill and see the price tag slashed on the $3.5 trillion partisan budget proposal.
As a result, the bills are facing an uncertain future even with a technical Demoratic Party majority on Capitol Hill.
Pelosi has already pushed back the vote on the infrastructure bill until Thursday and the infighting among warring factions of her party remained underway as of the latest reports available.