Group of progressive Democrats vote against bipartisan infrastructure bill

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was finally successful in rallying her party behind a bipartisan infrastructure bill, which passed in the lower chamber with the help of 13 GOP lawmakers.

Of course, several progressive Democrats maintained their opposition and decided to vote against the legislation.

Six Democrats break with party

Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Cori Bush (D-MO), Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and Ayana Pressley (D-MA) were the only House Democrats to cast a “no” vote.

Collectively, the far-left lawmakers are commonly referred to as the “Squad” and are frequently at odds with their own party’s leadership on Capitol Hill.

In the end, however, their votes did not prevent the bill from passing. The support of a group of Republican lawmakers allowed the proposal to pass with a vote of 228-206.

The bill already passed through the U.S. Senate with some support from Republicans in that chamber and it is now headed to President Joe Biden’s desk for his signature.

As for why the bill stalled for so long in the House, infighting among the disparate factions of the Democratic Party has been to blame.

Moderate Dems seek compromise

For their part, progressives refused to support the infrastructure bill until they were convinced that moderates would support Biden’s even costlier Build Back Better plan. On Friday, moderate House Democrats offered that assurance, leading many progressives to cast a vote in favor of the bipartisan legislation.

Although the moderates tentatively agreed to support the Build Back Better plan in exchange for the progressive wing’s vote in favor of the infrastructure bill, they requested a Congressional Budget Office review on the larger plan in order to better understand its fiscal implications.

Moderates want to receive the CBO score by the week of Nov. 15, which means a vote on the massive bill could be held shortly thereafter.

Members of the Squad issued a statement indicating that they would have preferred to put off the vote on both bills until after the CBO provides the requested score on the Build Back Better act.

Although Pelosi was able to secure the necessary votes to pass the infrastructure bill this week, it seems clear that a showdown between Democratic progressives and moderates remains on the horizon.

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