Pelosi floats procedural move on infrastructure bill

The Hill

August 16, 2021 7:00 pm

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Sunday floated a procedural move on the bipartisan infrastructure bill, but the idea did not satisfy a group of moderates who are pushing for a quick vote on passage of the measure.

The House is returning to Washington next week in order to pass the Senate-approved $3.5 trillion budget resolution that will pave the way for a social spending bill that can pass with only Democratic votes.

Some moderate Democrats are seeking an immediate vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill that the Senate passed earlier this month and have threatened to vote against the budget resolution unless the House first votes on the infrastructure bill. But Pelosi and progressive lawmakers do not want the House to pass the infrastructure bill until the Senate also passes a social spending bill.

In an effort to take moderates’ priorities into account, Pelosi said in a letter to colleagues Sunday that she has asked the House Rules Committee to “explore the possibility of a rule that advances both the budget resolution and the bipartisan infrastructure package.”

“This will put us on a path to advance the infrastructure bill and the reconciliation bill,” she wrote.

Nine moderate House Democrats said in a statement following Pelosi’s letter that a procedural vote is not enough and that the House needs to vote on the infrastructure bill prior to voting on the budget resolution.

“While we appreciate the forward procedural movement on the bipartisan infrastructure agreement, our view remains consistent: We should vote first on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework without delay and then move to immediate consideration of the budget resolution,” they said.

The statement came from Democratic Reps. Josh Gottheimer (N.J.), Filemon Vela (Texas), Henry Cuellar (Texas), Ed Case (Hawaii), Kurt Schrader (Ore.), Carolyn Bourdeaux (Ga.), Jared Golden (Maine), Vicente Gonzalez (Texas), and Jim Costa (Calif.).

Balancing the differing priorities of moderates and progressives is a major challenge for Pelosi as she seeks to pass the infrastructure bill and a social spending bill — both of which further President Biden’s economic agenda. Democrats have a very narrow majority in the House.