House begins debate on infrastructure bill Monday, but unclear if it can pass amid deep Democratic divides

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says this week will be a ‘time for intensity’

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House Democrats will officially begin debate on the bipartisan infrastructure bill on Monday, taking a major step toward passing President Biden’s all-encompassing economic agenda, even as it is uncertain whether any of it will be passed. It is possible.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced the plan on Sunday in a letter to fellow Democrats. He said Democrats aim to vote on the infrastructure bill on Thursday.

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“I just want to say that we’re going to pass the bill this week,” Pelosi said of the infrastructure bill on ABC’s “This Week.” “But you know I will never bring a bill in the House that doesn’t have votes.”

Pelosi’s confident tone comes despite the fact that she doesn’t have votes for the bill until Monday morning. Progressives say they will not vote for the infrastructure bill unless they have assurances that the Democrats’ massive reconciliation spending bill will pass.

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Pelosi predicts major progress on DES’ agenda as liberals and progressives approach soft talks

The speaker’s move to delay the infrastructure vote from Monday to Thursday could give him time to strike a deal on reconciliation and get those votes. But progressives want some closure on even the finer details, which can complicate things.

Progressive caucus chair Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, “Everything has to be agreed… “And everyone’s going to vote for it, and if Republicans offer an amendment to Vote-a-Rama that we won’t see Democratic senators suddenly vote with Republicans.”

“The next few days will be a time of intensity,” Pelosi said on Saturday

But Sunday statements from Jayapal and his liberal foil, Problem Solver Caucus President Josh Gottheimer, DNJ, appeared to leave an opening for a Pelosi-like grand deal after Democrats dig into their stance a week later. .

“The way these things work is if you start debating this and it goes on until Tuesday, I don’t think — I think we’re all reasonable people,” Gottheimer told CNN’s “State of the Union.” But said. It was a significant departure from her previous demand that the House vote on infrastructure on Monday, when Pelosi initially said she would bring the bill into an agreement with moderates last month.

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Jaipal’s remarks, meanwhile, were softened by progressives’ demands that the reconciliation bill be passed first before the infrastructure bill can go ahead.

Progressives and moderates will no longer be taking opposing stances on these bills. But they are still largely away from what the reconciliation bill should actually look like and coming to an agreement by Thursday will be an extremely difficult task.

There is policy disagreement over everything from prescription drug prices to Medicaid expansion to state and local tax cuts to immigration and more. And the most fundamental disagreement between the two sides is about topline pricing.

Sens. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., will have key votes on reconciliation in the Senate and have made it clear they will not support the $3.5 trillion bill. They say they would like something closer to $1.5 trillion. D-Texas Representative Henry Kueller told Granthshala Business last week that he was “not in the room” when the $3.5 trillion reconciliation price tag was agreed, and therefore feels no obligation to vote for the bill at that stage. .

Jayapal said he was open to the possibility of making some cuts first draft of the bill, which was written to hit the $3.5 trillion number. But later on Sunday in an interview on CBS, Jayapal challenged moderates to specify which parts of the bill should be rejected.

“Yeah, you know what we’ve said, we’re happy to hear what anyone wants to cut,” she said on CBS. “The main thing is not the topline number, it’s what you really want to fund… do you want to deduct child care, do you want to deduct paid leave, what do you want to deduct Huh?”

A handful of Republicans are expected to vote for the infrastructure bill, but that is unlikely to outweigh the dozens of progressives who have said they would vote against it without a reconciliation deal.

This legislative battle is taking place against the backdrop of two important deadlines that Congress must address: a possible government shutdown Thursday night and a possible US default on its debt sometime in October.

The Senate will take a procedural vote on Monday on a bill passed by the House to fund the government and prevent a shutdown while suspending debt limits. The bill is likely to fail because Republicans have promised to enact any legislation to raise the debt limit. They say the Democrats should raise it themselves because they are going it alone on their huge spending bills.

After that vote failed, it is unclear what Congress leaders will do next. One option is to remove the debt limit provision from the government funding bill, which would pass the Senate with bipartisan support. But this still has not solved the problem of increasing debt ceiling.

With Biden’s economic agenda – and the state of the US economy – on the line, this week will indeed be a “time of intensity.”


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