Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi delayed a vote on the infrastructure bill on Thursday night after the most radical lawmakers in her party threw yet another round of fits about the legislation’s contents and the related $1.75 trillion spending bill that acts as a free pass for key elements of the leftist agenda.
Despite never promising to deliver on every talking point lodged in each of the legislative packages, President Joe Biden, Pelosi, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and the progressive “squad” have devoted weeks to bickering over these key bills. Their attempts to pass just one piece of legislation that the administration and vulnerable Democrat members could use to boost the public’s image of them ahead of the 2022 midterms, however, has failed up to this point.
The president even delayed his European summit trip in hopes of convincing progressives to give him just one legislative victory but ended up pushing Democrat House leaders to bail on a vote.
While progressives appear more open to Biden’s begging for a $1.75 trillion reconciliation bill that would win over holdout Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, they plan to hold out on the infrastructure bill until the final “Build Back Better” plan is passed.
“The reality is that while talks around the infrastructure bill lasted months in the Senate, there has only been serious discussion around the specifics of the larger Build Back Better Act in recent weeks, thanks to the Progressive Caucus holding the line and putting both parts of the agenda back on the table,” Congressional Progressive Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Pramila Jayapal said in a statement on Thursday. “Members of our Caucus will not vote for the infrastructure bill without the Build Back Better Act. We will work immediately to finalize and pass both pieces of legislation through the House together.”
Sanders, who touted the reconciliation bill as an opportunity to move the nation even further left, seems less willing to compromise on the legislation packages unless the new round of proposals fills “major gaps” in his agenda to socialize health care.
“At the same time, he did not draw any red lines and praised the plan as ‘the most consequential bill since the 1960s,’” Politico noted in its Friday morning “Playbook.”