House progressives vowed to vote against the Senate’s bipartisan infrastructure bill after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi walked back her vow to pass it at the same time as President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion spending package, Yahoo News reports.
Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal, the chairwoman of the 96-member Congressional Progressive Caucus, vowed that the majority of the group would oppose the bill after Pelosi pushed for a Thursday vote on the infrastructure package to appease moderates.
“We will not allow this process to be dictated by special interests and corporations at the expense of women, working families and our communities,” she said Tuesday.
Pelosi promised to hold a vote this week on the infrastructure bill in exchange for moderates agreeing to advance the spending plan framework last month. But progressives say without the spending package, Pelosi violated the original deal to pass both bills together.
“We articulated this position more than three months ago, and today it is still unchanged: Progressives will vote for both bills, but a majority of our members will only vote for the infrastructure bill after the president’s visionary Build Back Better Act passes,” Jayapal said.
Senate Budget Chairman Bernie Sanders urged House progressives to hold the line.
"I strongly urge my House colleagues to vote against the bipartisan infrastructure bill until Congress passes a strong reconciliation bill," he said on Twitter.
"The agreement from the beginning was that all the pieces would move together... and that one piece wouldn't be broken off and moved ahead of the others," Sen. Elizabeth Warren told reporters."Both Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats in the House and the Senate all said that's the deal. I want to make sure we hold to that deal. I don't want to see that deal broken."
"We had a deal," she added. "And that deal was in place long before we voted [to pass the bipartisan bill] here in the Senate."
Manchin, Sinema stall spending bill:
Moderate Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema have continued to stall negotiations over the spending plan after President Joe Biden asked them to explain what they would support and what they wouldn’t.
Sinema in a private meeting with Biden made clear that she’s still not on board with the spending package but “is hesitant to engage on some specifics until the bipartisan infrastructure package passes the House,” a source told Politico.
“This is the third time she said she has told the president, 'I’m not there,'” the source said, recalling Sinema as telling the president “‘I’ve been very clear with you from the start.’”
Manchin also met with Biden but did not say how big a bill he would support and made “no commitments from my standpoint.”
“I’m worried my colleagues are going to shoot themselves in the foot,” a Senate Democrat told Politico. “We should find a solid number and move on.”