House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) remains focused on passing her party’s $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill.
In response to intraparty gridlock, Pelosi is reportedly considering a vote on the budget bill and a smaller bipartisan infrastructure bill at the same time.
“Explore the possibility”
The ambitious and controversial budget bill addresses many of the Democratic Party’s top priorities, including amnesty for many undocumented immigrants.
Progressives in Pelosi’s caucus are demanding the Congress vote on the bill before even considering the infrastructure legislation that passed in the U.S. Senate with some support from Republicans.
The speaker also hoped to take that path, but some moderates in the party are insisting that the House pass the bipartisan bill first. To thread the needle, Pelosi has asked the House Rules Committee to consider holding a vote on both bills at the same time.
In a letter to colleagues, she wrote: “I have requested that the Rules Committee explore the possibility of a rule that advances both the budget resolution and the bipartisan infrastructure package. This will put us on a path to advance the infrastructure bill and the reconciliation bill.”
Nine moderate Democrats rejected the proposal and called on the House to vote on infrastructure without delay.
“While we appreciate the forward procedural movement on the bipartisan infrastructure agreement, our view remains consistent: We should vote first on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework without delay and then move to immediate consideration of the budget resolution,” they wrote.
Politico reported that Pelosi is “losing patience” and increasingly willing to twist the arms of some stubborn moderates to get her way.
The speaker is expected to force moderates to go on the record regarding the budget resolution next week when lawmakers return from summer recess. While the infrastructure bill will also likely be considered, it would only be a procedural motion with no formal vote.
Although Democrats maintain a narrow majority on Capitol Hill, the Republicans could have held on to more leverage in the process by refusing to pass the smaller infrastructure bill, which many conservatives have denounced as wasteful and partisan.