Sunday, September 26, 2021

Last Call For The Good Package

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., may not bring the bipartisan infrastructure bill to the House floor Monday as she had previously committed to, she said Sunday.

"I'm never bringing to the floor a bill that doesn't have the votes," Pelosi told ABC "This Week" anchor George Stephanopoulos, adding it could be Monday.

"You cannot choose the date," Pelosi said. "You have to go when you have the votes in a reasonable time, and we will."

Pelosi had previously agreed to put the bipartisan infrastructure bill on the floor to be considered by Sept. 27, after moderates in her caucus demanded a vote.

Still, she said of the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, "Let me just say, we're going to pass the bill this week."

House progressives have warned leadership they will not vote on the bipartisan bill until the larger $3.5 trillion human infrastructure bill is also ready for a vote. Pelosi acknowledged, "In order to move forward, we have to build consensus."

Pelosi said the price tag for that larger bill could drop in negotiations with concessions.

"I know the budget committee passed a resolution calling for $3.5 trillion, but it sounds like you acknowledge that the final number is going to be somewhat smaller than that," Stephanopoulos pressed.

"Yeah, I mean, that seems self-evident," Pelosi responded.
Now, she still plans to have the votes for something later this week.
There is actual hope as she's mostly there.

Two of the nine House centrists who demanded Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) bring the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill to the floor by Monday are now publicly promising to vote for the separate $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: By explicitly announcing their support for a big package targeting climate change and expanding the social safety net, Reps. Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas) and Filemon Vela (D-Texas) are trying to convince progressives to vote for the infrastructure bill this week. 
Nonetheless, the two lawmakers also make it clear the House needs to vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill as soon as possible. 
“We support swift passage of the president’s $3.5 trillion reconciliation package,” they write in a joint statement obtained by Axios. “The bipartisan infrastructure framework would, on average, deliver $1.2 billion per congressional district.” 
“However, the idea that denying passage of the Senate’s Bipartisan Infrastructure bill [BIF] somehow exercises 'leverage' over some of our more fiscally conservative members is wholly misguided."

Between the lines: It’s unclear how many of the nine centrists who forced Pelosi to schedule the vote by Sept. 27 are actually on board for a big spending bill.
So we're still at the tender mercies of President Manchin and Vice-President Sinema now.  This all reminds me of Obama's stimulus package, which was pared down mightily thanks to Presidents Collins, Snowe, and Lieberman.
But what form will the final bill take?
Nobody knows right now.

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