Pelosi Delays Infrastructure Bill Vote, Sets Oct. 31 Deadline
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) again delayed a vote on a $1 trillion infrastructure bill Thursday night, as the negotiation with party centrists continues for a more sweeping social safety and climate bill, known as Build Back Better. Pelosi announced on Saturday that she wanted both the infrastructure and reconciliation bills to be passed by Oct. 31.
The House Speaker, the Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and the Biden administration have been trying to convince centrists in the Democratic party – Sens. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) – to vote for the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package.
Manchin, however, announced Thursday that he wouldn’t support any reconciliation bill for more than $1.5 trillion, a far smaller than a $3.5 trillion goal Democrats are hoping for.
“We’re going to come to an agreement. I’m trying to make sure they understand I’m at $1.5 trillion,” Manchin told reporters on Thursday after the meeting with the House Speaker and the White House officials for negotiation.
House progressives are furious over the efforts of centrist Democrats to block the $3.5 trillion bill. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-New York), one of the leading progressives in the party, made another dig against Manchin.
“Ever notice how ‘deficit hawks’ vote for record-high defense spending, yet claim bills that help people & challenge lobbyists are ‘too much?’” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.
Ever notice how “deficit hawks” vote for record-high defense spending, yet claim bills that help people & challenge lobbyists are “too much?”
‘22 Defense Bill = $768 billion/yr
Build Back Better = $350B/yr
Guess which got rubber stamped & which gets deemed a “spending problem” https://t.co/NVW6rv1fQs
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) September 30, 2021
Despite all the criticism that Manchin is receiving from his party, especially from the progressives, Democrats can’t lose his vote. In a 50-50 Senate, the Democrats can’t lose a single vote from the Democratic side to pass a bill through budget reconciliation.