House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) scored a victory on Tuesday when she secured enough votes to pass a budget resolution package through the narrowly divided chamber.
Despite a last-minute intervention from Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Pelosi reached a compromise with moderates in the House to advance the partisan bill.
“A commitment to rally House Democrats”
Pelosi returned from the recent recess on Monday with a clear mission to shut down dissent within her caucus from nine moderates who threatened to block the $3.5 trillion bill unless a smaller infrastructure deal received a vote.
Along with other progressive lawmakers, the speaker has insisted on passing the budget bill through the reconciliation process, which would allow the package to advance even without GOP support as long as Democrats stood united in favor.
Despite the opposition of a handful of moderates, the bill passed on Tuesday with the vote of every Democrat. The breakthrough reportedly followed a night full of intense negotiations that yielded an agreement to vote on the budget reconciliation in the short term and address infrastructure spending next month.
“I am committing to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill by September 27,” Pelosi advised. “I do so with a commitment to rally House Democratic support for its passage.”
With the House set to remain in recess until Sept. 20, the budget bill is expected to be ready by the time lawmakers return to Capitol Hill.
Moderates respond to Pelosi’s plan
When Pelosi returned to the Capitol on Monday, Manchin reportedly warned her not to hold the infrastructure deal “hostage,” insisting that doing so would send a “terrible message” to Americans hoping for bipartisan solutions from Congress.
“I urge my colleagues in the House to move swiftly to get this once-in-a-generation legislation to the president’s desk for his signature,” the West Virginia senator said.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) has joined Manchin in signaling her opposition to the $3.5 trillion deal, though it appears that Pelosi has the upper hand at this juncture.
Meanwhile, many Republicans fear that GOP senators who voted to pass a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill gave up their leverage as the minority party.