Pelosi Throws Brakes On Vote For Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

Joe Biden delayed his flight to Rome to make an effort to shore up support in the House for the bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that is key to the success of his “Build Back Better” spending spree package.

However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for another delay on a House vote after the House Progressive Caucus refused to commit the votes needed because of the continuing inter-party fight among Democrats over the budget reconciliation spending bill.

Biden had just announced a reduced-price spending bill because of objections from moderate Democrats, particularly in the Senate from Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). The bill, which initially was proposed to include $3.5 trillion in spending, has been pared down to approximately $1.75 trillion.

Progressives are now telling Pelosi that they will not support the bipartisan infrastructure bill until they see the final text of the proposed budget reconciliation bill. That refusal came as a blow to Biden, who had hoped to secure a win on the infrastructure bill as he headed out for his junket to the Vatican and then the UN climate summit in Scotland.

Progressive Caucus Chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) issued a statement Thursday saying that no caucus members will vote for the infrastructure bill “without the Build Back Better Act,” referring to the budget reconciliation measure. She added that they would be willing to finalize and pass both bills if they come “through the House together.”

The revised budget reconciliation spending bill drops several programs, including tuition-free community college, Medicare expansion, and paid family and medical leave. Other programs involving the expanded child tax credit, climate tax credits, and universal preschool were retained.

Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Cori Bush (D-MO) openly expressed their opposition to voting for the bipartisan infrastructure bill without the budget bill attached, with Tlaib stating, “Hell no on BIF.” Bush said that Manchin and Sinema had not been “good faith actors” on the reconciliation bill.

The infrastructure bill includes railway and public transportation programs, rebuilding the nation’s electric grid, and expanding rural access to broadband internet.