Progressives Split on Backing Thursday’s House Infrastructure Vote

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Liberal Democrats want to ensure progress on separate education, health care and climate packages

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“In the next day, we hope to come to a place where we can all move on,” Mrs Pelosi told reporters on Tuesday. He hoped that such an agreement would “reach the level necessary to pass both the bills.”

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Democratic leaders could risk losing a handful of liberal votes in the House — which split 220 Democrats into 212 Republicans — as some Republicans are expected to support the infrastructure bill. While the infrastructure had broad bipartisan support in the Senate, House GOP leaders have urged their ranks to vote against it, arguing that the proposal is now inseparable from the broader Democratic package, which the GOP staunchly opposes.

A White House official said the administration was working closely with the leadership. “We have faith in the speaker. We have faith in the leaders. None of us are naive about the challenge of what we are trying to do this week.”

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Several House liberals have previously said that the Senate needs to pass the full Social Policy Bill before voting for the infrastructure bill, which has already passed the Senate. This week, some changed that language a bit, but maintained that they still expected to see a completely fleshed-out agreement, which apparently had the backing of prominent Senate Democratic centrists—still The end of the week is seen as a tough benchmark to meet.

Representative Pramila Jayapal (D., Wash.), chair of the Congress Progressive Caucus, reiterated that half of the group’s nearly 100 members are prepared to withdraw their vote on healthcare, education and infrastructure without full consent on the lessons of Huh. The climate package, and major centrist Democratic sence. A promise from Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kirsten Cinema of Arizona that they will support it. Mr Manchin and Ms Cinema, who attended meetings at the White House on Tuesday, have said the $3.5 trillion figure is too high.

“Progressive people will vote for both bills, but most of our members will vote for the infrastructure bill only after the president’s visionary Build Back Better Act is passed,” Ms Jayapal said in a statement after a meeting with her caucus on Tuesday. Will vote for.”

“A deal is a deal,” Rep. Said Ilhan Omar (d., Min.), one of the liberal members who has threatened to withdraw his vote on infrastructure legislation without a vote in the Senate over the big package.

But not all liberals are demanding the same level of detail.

“We need to get a number from a senator and we need to make it clear that everything is holding back,” said Rep. Ro Khanna (D., Cal.), though he didn’t specify who. It’s a senator. “What we’re asking them is to give us a number with certain priorities.”

Meanwhile, Representative Jamie Ruskin (D., MD), another member of the Progressive Caucus who is also an aide to Mrs. Pelosi, said she would vote for any legislation brought to the floor because of her position in the House. Rules Committee.

This is the first time under Ms Jaipal’s leadership that members of the Progressive Caucus have threatened to withdraw votes as a bloc to achieve a specific result. When Republicans had control of the House, the hard-line conservative Freedom Caucus and its nearly three dozen members often threatened to torpedo legislation and sometimes succeeded. Ms. Jayapal has drawn comparisons to the long-standing Freedom Caucus, saying her group’s goal was to legislate, not stop it.

But some aides have questioned whether the number of progressives threatening to vote “no” could decline if lawmakers are pressed by Democratic leaders.

Some liberals indicated they could be confident of some sort of consensus this week, even though it hasn’t finalized every detail of the package.

“At a certain point we have to have some mutual trust,” said Rep. Peter Welch (D., Vt.), “if there is really good faith progress and we are getting assurances from moderates that they are in reconciliation – and I think there are a lot of them – so the worst thing we could have done is to have everything collapse.”

During a meeting with members on Monday, Mrs Pelosi announced that the two packages would no longer be linked. As part of a deal with the middlemen last month, it said it would bring the infrastructure bill by September 27, which it extended this week to Thursday.

Mrs Pelosi told Democrats on Monday evening her outlook had changed when she realized centrist concerns would result in total spending below $3.5 trillion. However, some Democrats noted that if enough progressives block their votes on the infrastructure package, the two bills would be lumped together.

“It’s a real challenge to get all those details, but we’re all committed to trying hard,” said centrist Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D., Fla.). “It’s vitally important that we pass the infrastructure bill, because I think it will give us the momentum that we need to get the reconciliation bill to the finish line.”

write to Eliza Collins at eli[email protected] and Christina Peterson at [email protected] Feather

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