House Moderates Challenge Pelosi Timetable, Threatening Budget


August 13, 2021 9:41 am

Nine moderate House Democrats have signed a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi threatening to withhold support from a $3.5 trillion budget blueprint until a bipartisan infrastructure package is signed into law, according to Punchbowl News.

“It’s time to get shovels in the ground and people to work,” the Democrats wrote, according to Punchbowl. “We will not consider voting for a budget resolution until the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passes the House and is signed into law.”

The moderates’ stance risks unraveling Pelosi’s plans to bring the budget resolution to a vote in the House the week of Aug. 23. Pelosi’s slim margin of control means she can only afford to lose three members of her caucus in a vote on the budget, which passed the Senate on a party-line vote this week and isn’t expected to garner any Republican support in the House.

Representatives Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, Carolyn Bourdeaux of Georgia, Filemon Vela of Texas, Jared Golden of Maine, Henry Cuellar of Texas, Vicente Gonzalez of Texas, Ed Case of Hawaii, Jim Costa of California and Kurt Schrader of Oregon signed the letter.

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The letter puts Pelsoi, once again, in a tug-of-war between moderate and progressive House Democrats.

For now, the $550 billion infrastructure package is on hold. In a bow to demands from House progressives, Pelosi has vowed to wait until the Senate finishes the budget package to assure it addresses priorities on social programs and climate change.

Taken together, the infrastructure package and the policies outlined in the budget framework form the crux of President Joe Biden’s economic agenda.

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The moderates’ letter follows a statement Tuesday from leaders of the House Blue Dog Coalition, a group of fiscally conservative Democrats, calling for Pelosi to swiftly bring the infrastructure bill to a vote.

The Blue Dog co-chairs said they “remain opposed to any effort to unnecessarily delay consideration of these critical infrastructure investments, which will create good-paying jobs, keep American businesses competitive, and grow our nation’s economy.”