House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) continues to struggle in her efforts to keep her party’s establishment and progressive factions united.
Now, a group of moderate House Democrats has threatened a revolt if Pelosi refuses to hold a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed in the Senate earlier this week.
“The same path as the Senate”
According to Just the News, the development poses a major problem for the speaker since progressives have signaled that they intend to vote down the bipartisan bill unless a pork-filled $3.5 trillion budget resolution package is given a vote first.
Pelosi had planned on stalling a vote on the smaller infrastructure bill until the costlier legislation, which Senate Democrats hope to push through with a simple majority vote, is finally ready for a vote in the House.
Such partisan gamesmanship appears to be unacceptable to at least nine moderates led by Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), who sent a letter to Pelosi on Friday in which they confirmed that they would not vote for the budget resolution until the infrastructure bill passes.
“We urge our House colleagues to follow the same path as the Senate: vote first on the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and then consider the budget resolution,” the group of moderates wrote.
The letter went on to express a fundamental disagreement with those who advocate for postponing the infrastructure bill until after the budget reconciliation process.
“Time to get shovels in the ground”
“With the livelihoods of hardworking American families at stake, we simply can’t afford months of unnecessary delays and risk squandering this once-in-a-century, bipartisan infrastructure package,” the lawmakers asserted. “It’s time to get shovels in the ground and people to work.”
As a result, the group of moderates concluded: “We will not consider voting for a budget resolution until the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passes the House and is signed into law.”
Given the slim majority that Democrats currently have in the House, the loss of nine moderate members would be enough to scuttle Pelosi’s entire maneuver.
Of course, if Pelosi gives into the moderates’ demand to hold a vote on the infrastructure bill first, she risks losing the support of progressives in pursuit of the smaller bipartisan deal.
Meanwhile, House Republicans are largely unified in opposition to both of the expensive bills — and they can now sit back and watch as Democratic infighting threatens to disrupt Pelosi’s plans.