House Delays Infrastructure Vote As Progressives Refuse To Back The Measure
The House voted Thursday night to temporarily reauthorize transportation funding, delaying the vote for the infrastructure bill that has been the center of a heated battle in Washington for the past few weeks.
The decision came after progressives refused to vote for the bill until they were assured that a separate $1.75 trillion social spending measure would also be finalized and passed. Progressives want a commitment that Sens. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) will vote in favor of the measure, a commitment that they have yet to give.
The vote followed a visit to the Capitol from President Joe Biden, who urged Democrats to pass the infrastructure bill. Despite the president’s wishes and pressure from party leaders, as many as 30 Democrats threatened to block the bill.
“There is too much at stake for working families and our communities to settle for something that can be later misunderstood, amended, or abandoned altogether,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington), the Congressional Progressive Caucus leader, said in a statement. “That is why dozens of our members insist on keeping both bills linked and cannot vote only for one until they can be voted on together.”
The new delay extends highway funding up until Dec 3. The measure was unanimously approved in the Senate.
This delay marks another blow to the Biden administration and Democratic leaders who have been attempting to push the infrastructure bill through Congress before the president arrived in Rome for the G-20 conference.