House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the chamber is planning to hold a vote on the Senate’s bipartisan infrastructure bill on Thursday even though progressives have vowed to oppose it, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Pelosi told reporters on Thursday morning that the House is “proceeding in a very positive way” towards a vote later in the day.
“We’re on a path to win the vote. I don’t want to even consider any options other than that,” she said.
Pelosi suggested that she hopes to reassure the party’s progressive wing by striking some sort of deal with the Senate and the White House on the Democrats’ budget reconciliation bill.
Progressives have said they won’t vote for the infrastructure bill unless the Senate first passes the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better plan, which includes climate funding and other measures that the Senate bill excluded.
Hoyer less confident:
Asked whether he was confident that the bill would pass on Thursday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters “no.”
Pelosi previously said that she would only bring the bill to the floor if she was confident it would pass, suggesting she may still pull the bill.
The bipartisan bill received 19 Republican votes in the Senate but Republicans in the House plan to oppose the bill unless Democrats corral enough votes themselves.
Meanwhile, Congress is racing to pass a separate bill Thursday to extend government funding through December to avoid a government shutdown by Friday.
Moderates stall plan:
Democrats had agreed to advance the infrastructure bill and the Build Back Better plan at the same time but Senate moderates Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are stalling negotiations and pressing for the House to pass the infrastructure bill without any reassurance that they will back the larger package.
Manchin ruled out the possibility of reaching an agreement by Thursday.
“While I am hopeful that common ground can be found that would result in another historic investment in our nation, I cannot—and will not—support trillions in spending or an all-or-nothing approach that ignores the brutal fiscal reality our nation faces,” he said.
“This is why we’re not voting for that bipartisan bill until we get agreement on the reconciliation bill, and it’s clear we’ve got a ways to go,” said Congressional Progressive Caucus Chairwoman Pramila Jayapal.