A number of Democratic lawmakers representing competitive districts are standing alongside their GOP counterparts in condemning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
According to reports, the speaker has received bipartisan opprobrium over her approach to advancing a massive infrastructure deal through Congress.
“Something we should celebrate”
She recently signaled her refusal to consider a compromise reached by members of both parties if it did not also include a partisan bill packed with items from her party’s legislative wish list.
The bipartisan group of legislators reached a tentative $1.2 trillion deal on a package that many progressives complain does not go far enough in addressing the nation’s infrastructure needs. For their part, Republicans have largely derided the Democratic proposal as one filled partisan pork.
Pelosi appears to be taking her cues from her party’s far-left faction, dismissing calls from Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to pass the smaller bill on its own.
Gottheimer called the bipartisan package “something we should celebrate” and urged Pelosi not to hold it “hostage” in the pursuit of a more ambitious bill. Spanberge noted that it would be “incredibly disappointing” if a bill is “arbitrarily” delayed.
“I want to pass that”
Rep. Ed Case (D-HI) also voiced his concern, adding: “I think that … a bill that can actually pass Congress and get to the President’s desk — I want to pass that. And so I want to strike while the iron is hot.”
Republican leaders are notably more direct in their criticism, essentially accusing Pelosi of playing politics with the nation’s roads and bridges.
“The president cannot let congressional Democrats hold a bipartisan bill hostage over a separate and partisan process,” McConnell argued.
Nevertheless, many progressives want to pass their preferred bill through budget reconciliation, which is a process that would allow a unified Democratic Party to advance legislation without GOP support.
Moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who represents a pivotal vote in the evenly divided chamber, has signaled support for that approach, explaining: “I’ve agreed that can be done. I just haven’t agreed on the amount. I haven’t seen everything that everybody is wanting to put into the bill.”