The vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill is set to move forward on Thursday, despite progressives vowing to withhold their support for the measure until there is movement on a sweeping social spending bill — with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying “we are on a path to win the vote.”
Pelosi’s confidence in the vote comes as top Democrats seek to pass the $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal and President Biden’s $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill, while moderates and progressives have signaled their willingness to kill both in recent days.
“I do not plan on not doing anything,” Pelosi (D-Calif.) said when asked if she would delay the vote. “I plan on moving forward in a positive direction.”
“I’m only envisioning taking it up and winning,” the speaker added.
On Wednesday, progressive lawmakers asserted that they had more than enough votes to tank the bill, with Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) calling for moderate Sens. Kyrten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) — both of whom have had multiple meetings with the White House — to provide a top-line number for the reconciliation bill.
Manchin asserted that he would not support $3.5 trillion in social spending, reiterating his calls for Democrats to pause the process.
“Every Member of Congress has a solemn duty to vote for what they believe is best for the country and the American people, not their party. Respectfully, as I have said for months, I can’t support $3.5 trillion more in spending when we have already spent $5.4 trillion since last March. At some point, all of us, regardless of party, must ask the simple question — how much is enough?” he said in a statement.
Following Manchin’s comments, Jayapal told reporters that she believes his remarks spurred more progressives to attempt to block the bipartisan bill, signaling that it would be dead on arrival in the House.
For weeks, progressives have vowed to vote against the infrastructure deal if the reconciliation package is not passed first.