‘It’s About Time!’: Pelosi Sets New October 31 Deadline For Passing Infrastructure Bill

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave a new deadline to Congress on October 31st for the passage of a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. She told her Democratic colleagues that "it's time!" After a Thursday vote was canceled because it became clear that progressives within the party were not going to allow the bill to pass, the legislation was passed.

After a House... [+] Democratic Caucus meeting in Washington, President Joe Biden is accompanied by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as they leave. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon). ASSOCIATED PRNS

The Key Facts

Pelosi wrote to her colleagues that she hopes that the infrastructure bill will pass "well before then", referring to the October 31 deadline for funding highways. The Democratic leadership wanted to vote on the infrastructure package in late week. However, it was canceled after progressive Democrats stated that they would not vote for the bill unless they received assurances from centrist Democrats that they would have enough support to pass a separate budget bill to address environmental and social programs. President Joe Biden, the House progressive Democrats and the centrist Senate Democrats Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), have been meeting to try to reach a compromise that would allow the Senate to pass the budget package. Progressive Democrats insist that a deal must be reached before the Senate votes on the infrastructure bill.

Big Number

6. This is how many times Pelosi used "Its about time!" in her Saturday letter, in which she expressed frustration at the delay in passing the infrastructure bill.

What to Watch

The reconciliation process doesn't require Republican support, but it does mean that all Senate Democrats will need to vote in favor of the budget bill. The bill as it stands would authorize funding of $3.5 trillion, but Manchin claims that the bill's ceiling is $1.5 trillion. Biden stated to House Democrats that he hopes to reach a compromise to lower the cost of the budget bill to $1.9 trillion to $2.2 trillion.

Important Background

Congress is busy as negotiations continue over trillions of dollars of spending, while the United States is at the brink of defaulting on its debts. Janet Yellen, Treasury Secretary, stated Tuesday that the country must act fast to raise the debt limit or risk economic disaster. However, Democrats in the Senate have not been able to pass any measure to increase the debt ceiling since Republicans have blocked all attempts. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., stated Tuesday that there is no chance the Republican conference will do anything to help Democrats save their energy and time so they can continue to ramming through partisan socialistism as quickly as possible. Congress approved a measure to fund the government through December, a week ahead of Friday's 12:01 a.m. deadline.

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Biden Expects the Social Spending Bill to shrink to $2 Trillion and links it with Infrastructure Package in Speech To Democrats (Forbes).

Manchin says a reconciliation deal is not possible before the infrastructure vote (Forbes).

Senate passes a measure to keep government open, but debt default still looms (Forbes).

Yellen warns that the Treasury will run out of cash on October 18th, causing serious harm to businesses (Forbes).