This week could prove a roaring success or the ultimate embarrassment for President Joe Biden’s White House, as a trio of bills make their way through Congress. Or not.
According to Fox Business, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), in no uncertain terms, made clear to her members in a letter that House Democrats will pass Biden’s $3.5 trillion spending package, a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, and a government spending bill all in the same week, calling it a “time of intensity.”
What’s going on?
As a deadline approaches for a vote on the bills, Pelosi seemed to throw down the gavel for Democratic House members as she vowed that all three aforementioned bills will, in fact, be passed, which would give the Biden administration a desperately needed legislative victory.
“This week, we must pass a Continuing Resolution, Build Back Better Act and the BIF,” Pelosi wrote. “On Thursday, the Build Back Better Act was sent to the Budget Committee for mark-up. As I write to you, the Budget Committee is marking up the bill.”
The speaker added: “We must pass the BIF to avoid the expiration of the surface transportation funding on September 30,” adding “And we must stay on schedule to pass the reconciliation bill so that we can Build Back Better.”
Other Democratic House lawmakers echoed Pelosi’s urgency to pass the bills, including Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY), who called the moment an “inflection point” for the United States.
“The futures of millions of Americans and their families are at stake. They can no longer afford the costs of neglect and inaction – the time to act is now,” Yarmouth said.
GOP says no way
While Democrats have a majority in the House and the deciding vote in the split Senate, Republicans are certainly not giving up without a fight, as most members strongly opposed the infrastructure bill and the $3.5 trillion spending bill that Democrats are itching to pass.
“We are here today to mark up a massive tax and spending plan, over 2,400 pages, that was written entirely on a partisan basis by Democrats,” said Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO).
Smith added: “It was thrown before this committee, in the past 48 hours, to meet an arbitrary, artificial, and purely political deadline – dictated by Democrat leadership. And why? Because the majority needs to reconcile infighting within its own party.”
According to NBC News, a House-passed government funding bill will be up for a vote on Monday in the Senate but is under threat of being blocked by Republicans, as many of them are against the inclusion of a debt ceiling increase to pay for the other bills. Republicans say the debt ceiling increase should be its own separate bill so that Democrats are held accountable for its consequences.
Only time will tell how this week plays out, but if Democrats get their way, they’ll effectively saddle generations to come with mountains of unnecessary debt.