House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) attempted some political maneuvering earlier this year by linking a bipartisan infrastructure bill with the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill being pushed by the far left.
Progressives and moderates in the party are now at an impasse on the topic as looming deadlines could mean a debt limit crisis — and one recent interaction with a reporter indicates that Pelosi’s patience is wearing thin.
“That’s what we have to do”
As a video clip reveals, the House speaker snapped at a reporter who essentially asked how she intended to extricate her party from the mess she helped create.
Specifically, the reporter asked why Pelosi felt the need to “twist the arms of moderates” in advancing a bill that could be doomed when it reaches the Senate.
“What are you talking about?” she snapped back. “We have a responsibility to uphold, to lift up the full faith and credit of the United States of America. That’s what we have to do. These members have all voted for this last week.”
As for her chamber, she expressed confidence that the Democratic caucus would act on principle without concerns about potential future roadblocks.
“We cannot predicate our actions in the House on what could happen in the Senate,” she said. “We can when we’re coming to an agreement on a bill, but in terms of this, I have no patience for people not voting for that.”
The speaker’s frustration might be less about the debt ceiling issue than it is about the impasse between warring factions of her own party regarding the spending bills and, more generally, the Biden administration’s agenda.
Pelosi snaps at a reporter questioning her strategy on the debt ceiling: “What are you talking about?!” pic.twitter.com/1vsgvDkGjS
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 29, 2021
Moderates favor voting on the smaller infrastructure bill and have balked at the price tag of the larger proposal, known as the Build Back Better Act. Meanwhile, progressives are refusing to vote for the infrastructure bill until the social spending bill is brought for a vote.
Since the budget reconciliation bill has not yet been drafted, Pelosi called for a vote on the infrastructure bill ahead of a looming deadline after which transportation funding would expire.
Pelosi has issued public statements in recent days stressing the importance of the situation and tacitly warning moderates about the “moral imperative” of passing Biden’s agenda. By Wednesday, she had returned to lashing out against GOP “extremism” in an effort to explain why the debt ceiling had not yet been raised.