Pelosi wants infrastructure vote, progressives threaten boycott

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Pelosi wants infrastructure vote, progressives threaten boycott

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is attempting to force a vote on the Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill after failing to make headway on President Biden’s nearly $2 trillion social spending bill, but Democratic progressives threatened to block the move if the bills are not voted together.

After hours of uncertainty over whether House Democratic leadership would be able to garner enough support to pass the bills, Pelosi announced a Friday afternoon vote on the infrastructure package alone. 

“It is with enormous respect for the greatness and patience of our House Democratic Members that I write to describe a path forward For The People. In order to make progress on the President’s vision it is important that we advance the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework and the Build Back Better Act today. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework rule and debate have already happened. Now, we will bring to the Floor the BIF and a rule for consideration of the Build Back Better Act,” Pelosi wrote in a “Dear Colleague” letter.

Shortly after, however, top progressives threatened to derail the plans, noting at least six House Democrats who voiced their hesitation on passing the budget reconciliation due to lack of scoring from the Congressional Budget Office — making it unclear if either vote will happen.

“We now understand that there are six Democratic members who want to have a formal CBO score on Build Back Better before voting,”  Progressive Caucus Chair Rep. Pramila Jayapl (D-Wash.) said in a statement.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) speaks during an interview as House Democrats work on infrastructure and spending bills on Capitol Hill on November 4, 2021
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) speaks during an interview as House Democrats work on infrastructure and spending bills on Capitol Hill on Nov. 4, 2021.
Joshua Roberts/Getty Images
President Biden has sought to pass large infrastructure and social spending bills.
President Biden has sought to pass large infrastructure and social spending bills.
Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

“A full accounting of the spending and revenue has been provided by the White House, numerous pieces of the legislation have already been scored, and the JCT has put out analysis that Build Back Better will contribute to reducing the deficit.

“However, if our six colleagues still want to wait for a CBO score, we would agree to give them that time — after which point we can vote on both bills together.”

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