Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Speaker of the House, meets reporters at the Capitol in Washington on Thursday, July 22, 2021. Pelosi spoke out about her reasons for refusing to allow two Republicans, Kevin McCarthy, the House GOP leader, to serve on the investigation committee into the Jan. 6 Capitol Insurrection. AP Photo/Scott J. Applewhite
Pelosi voted against the planned vote on Thursday for the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
It is a setback for Biden's domestic agenda, as Democratic rifts are growing.
As moderates resisted the social spending plan, progressives launched a complete revolt.
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Nancy Pelosi, the California House Speaker, voted against President Joe Biden’s $550 billion infrastructure bill. This vote was originally scheduled for Thursday. This is a significant setback for Democrats, as progressive and moderate feuds have deepened over Biden’s domestic agenda.
After it became clear that House Democratic leaders did not have sufficient support to pass the bill and send it on to Biden, the vote was pulled. Pelosi was confident that she would succeed despite the 3 votes margin in the 220-212 chamber. She tried to ignore the many obstacles.
She said, "I only see myself taking it up, winning it," at a Thursday press conference. She added, "You cannot tire, and you cannot concede." This is the fun part.
The White House advised House Democrats that a vote could still be scheduled for Friday. The White House stated that Congressional Democrats would continue to try and resolve their wide-ranging disagreements as they negotiate a larger social spending bill that can draw support from across the party.
Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, stated that "a great deal of progress was made this week" and that the White House is closer to an agreement than ever. "But, we aren't there yet. So, we will need additional time to complete the work, beginning tomorrow morning.
Progressives are launching a complete revolt after Biden separated the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the larger $3.5 trillion social expenditure plan. This measure, among others, aims to ensure tuition-free community colleges, affordable childcare, Medicare expansion, Medicaid expansion, and a renewal for the child allowance.
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Pelosi originally linked the bills, insisting that they must move together throughout the summer. On Monday, Pelosi informed House Democrats that there had been no progress on the social spending bill and they needed to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill. She wanted to keep the promise to House moderates that it would be passed this week.
These days of infighting have highlighted deep divisions between Democrats over their spending priorities and taxes they plan to levy on large corporations and the wealthy. Their slim but powerful majorities in both chambers make matters more complicated, leaving Biden and Democratic leaders very little room for maneuver.
Senator Bernie Sanders, Vermont, had supported the House's resistance. Sanders said to Insider that if there's a vote, he hopes it loses.
After moderate Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia released a statement Thursday calling the $3.5 trillion social spending plan "the definition fiscal insanity", progressive anger grew. Pramila Jayapal, Chair of the House Progressive Caucus, stated to reporters that progressives had been digging in, and about half her 96-member caucus was ready to stop the bill.
Despite this, House moderates led by Rep. Josh Gottheimer from New Jersey insist that the bill will prevail with "1000% certainty". He tweeted, "It ain't over yet!"
-Rep Josh Gottheimer, @RepJoshG October 1, 2021
Others moderates pressed for it to be approved earlier than usual, despite staunch liberal opposition. Insider was told by Rep. Henry Cuellar, Texas: "If we let large parts of the Biden agenda go down, we cannot blame the Republicans." "We control everything, so it's vital that we have that right to vote."
After months of promising to do so, progressive lawmakers maintained their position. On Twitter, Rep. Ilhan Olmar from Minnesota said that Congress doesn't make predictions like these until they know that they have the votes. "Some people get this, while others bluff and fall on their faces."
"They should close that deal."
Manchin stated Thursday that he wanted a $1.5 trillion plan for social spending. This is less than the amount approved by Democrats in August's budget plan. He stated that any amount higher than this could lead to the US becoming an entitlement-based society.
Many Democrats are tired of Sen. Kyrsten Silenza of Arizona and Manchin. These two centrists are crucial votes in the 50-50 Senate. Democrats can't afford to lose one defection, as they use a reconciliation process. To avoid the united GOP opposition, Democrats need only a simple majority vote. However, all 50 Democratic senators must support this strategy to succeed.
Sinema and Manchin both attended back to back meetings at the White House with Biden, his senior aides, and discussed the scope and size of the plan. However, there is no sign of any breakthrough in the talks.
"They've had their opportunity, they've made it their case," Senator Dick Durbin, Illinois' number two senator Democrat, said to reporters on Thursday. They should conclude this deal. There is too much at stake.
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