Pelosi Plans Votes on Biden’s Spending Plans Next Week Despite Democratic Rifts

Pelosi Plans Votes on Biden’s Spending Plans Next Week Despite Democratic Rifts


WASHINGTON—Top House Democrats said they would charge ahead with a plan to bring up both a $1 trillion infrastructure bill and a broad $3.5 trillion package for a vote next week even as deep disagreements in the party threaten to scuttle the two bills.

The progressive and centrist wings of the Democratic Party are locked in a political tug of war over the bills, with moderates pushing for the House to pass the infrastructure legislation on Monday. Progressives are resisting that timeline, calling instead for Congress to first approve the larger healthcare, education and climate proposal, which moderates in turn have criticized as too big.

In an effort to keep President Biden’s agenda moving through the narrowly divided House and Senate, House Speaker

Nancy Pelosi

(D., Calif.) wrote in a public letter that the House would take up both pieces of legislation next week amid “intense dialogue” between Democrats.

“That intensity continues as we move forward to pass two jobs bills next week: the Build Back Better Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework,” Mrs. Pelosi wrote.

But party lawmakers appeared no closer to reaching consensus, throwing leaders’ timeline into question. Democrats remain at odds over both the broad contours and the policy specifics of the social-policy package, and both moderate and progressive lawmakers said that they wouldn’t likely reach an agreement in time for a vote next week.

‘That bill, it cannot pass,’ Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D., Wash.), the chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said of the infrastructure bill.



Photo:

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Progressives have threatened to block the $1 trillion infrastructure bill in a bid to pressure moderates to support the $3.5 trillion legislation.

“That bill, it cannot pass,”

Rep. Pramila Jayapal

(D., Wash.), the chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said of the infrastructure bill. “It can only come to the floor once everyone’s agreed and once the Senate has voted on” the $3.5 trillion effort.

The roughly $1 trillion infrastructure bill, which passed the Senate with 19 Republican votes, showers funding on building roads, bridges and rail across the country. The social-policy bill aims to offer universal prekindergarten, fund child care, expand Medicare to cover dental, hearing and vision care, and create a program to shift utilities away from fossil fuels, among other provisions.

The Democrats’ plan to pay for President Biden’s $3.5 trillion Build Back Better initiative will need to strike the right balance to appeal to progressives without alienating moderates. WSJ’s Gerald F. Seib discusses with tax policy reporter Richard Rubin. Photo illustration: Todd Johnson

Democrats are using a legislative procedure called reconciliation to pursue the $3.5 trillion bill and skirt the 60-vote threshold necessary for most legislation in the Senate. Republicans have lined up against the legislation, calling it wasteful and potentially damaging to the economy.

Mr. Biden and top White House officials have held a series of meetings with Democrats in an effort to solidify an agreement on the package and mollify progressive concerns about moderates’ opposition to it. At a sit-down with moderate Democrats this week, lawmakers discussed reducing the size of the package to below $3 trillion, according to two people familiar with the meeting.

“Now we’re at this stalemate at the moment and we’re going to have to get these two pieces of legislation passed. Both need to be passed,” Mr. Biden said Friday.

Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D., Fla.), a co-chair of the Blue Dogs, said Democrats were still far from reaching an accord on the social-policy and climate package.



Photo:

Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg News

National Economic Council Director Brian Deese and White House legislative affairs director Louisa Terrell met with the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of centrist House Democrats, on Friday morning to discuss the two bills. Lawmakers who attended the meeting pushed for the infrastructure vote to take place Monday, a date top Democrats agreed to last month.

Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D., Fla.), a co-chair of the Blue Dogs, said Democrats were still far from reaching an accord on the social-policy and climate package, casting doubt on whether a vote next week could take place.

“Well there would be a lot of work that would have to be done between now and then,” Ms. Murphy said.

Mrs. Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader

Chuck Schumer

(D., N.Y.) on Thursday said that they and the White House had agreed to a framework on the revenue provision of the legislation, the cost of which Democrats are hoping to fully cover with tax increases and new government savings. But lawmakers said that a number of differences between the two chambers remain unresolved, with officials exploring different possible tax options.

Write to Andrew Duehren at [email protected] and Kristina Peterson at [email protected]

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California outside the Capitol on Friday.



Photo:

Alex Wong/Getty Images

WASHINGTON—Top House Democrats said they would charge ahead with a plan to bring up both a $1 trillion infrastructure bill and a broad $3.5 trillion package for a vote next week even as deep disagreements in the party threaten to scuttle the two bills.

The progressive and centrist wings of the Democratic Party are locked in a political tug of war over the bills, with moderates pushing for the House to pass the infrastructure legislation on Monday. Progressives are resisting that timeline, calling instead for Congress to first approve the larger healthcare, education and climate proposal, which moderates in turn have criticized as too big.

In an effort to keep President Biden’s agenda moving through the narrowly divided House and Senate, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) wrote in a public letter that the House would take up both pieces of legislation next week amid “intense dialogue” between Democrats.

“That intensity continues as we move forward to pass two jobs bills next week: the Build Back Better Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework,” Mrs. Pelosi wrote.

But party lawmakers appeared no closer to reaching consensus, throwing leaders’ timeline into question. Democrats remain at odds over both the broad contours and the policy specifics of the social-policy package, and both moderate and progressive lawmakers said that they wouldn’t likely reach an agreement in time for a vote next week.

‘That bill, it cannot pass,’ Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D., Wash.), the chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said of the infrastructure bill.



Photo:

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Progressives have threatened to block the $1 trillion infrastructure bill in a bid to pressure moderates to support the $3.5 trillion legislation.

“That bill, it cannot pass,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D., Wash.), the chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said of the infrastructure bill. “It can only come to the floor once everyone’s agreed and once the Senate has voted on” the $3.5 trillion effort.

The roughly $1 trillion infrastructure bill, which passed the Senate with 19 Republican votes, showers funding on building roads, bridges and rail across the country. The social-policy bill aims to offer universal prekindergarten, fund child care, expand Medicare to cover dental, hearing and vision care, and create a program to shift utilities away from fossil fuels, among other provisions.

The Democrats’ plan to pay for President Biden’s $3.5 trillion Build Back Better initiative will need to strike the right balance to appeal to progressives without alienating moderates. WSJ’s Gerald F. Seib discusses with tax policy reporter Richard Rubin. Photo illustration: Todd Johnson

Democrats are using a legislative procedure called reconciliation to pursue the $3.5 trillion bill and skirt the 60-vote threshold necessary for most legislation in the Senate. Republicans have lined up against the legislation, calling it wasteful and potentially damaging to the economy.

Mr. Biden and top White House officials have held a series of meetings with Democrats in an effort to solidify an agreement on the package and mollify progressive concerns about moderates’ opposition to it. At a sit-down with moderate Democrats this week, lawmakers discussed reducing the size of the package to below $3 trillion, according to two people familiar with the meeting.

“Now we’re at this stalemate at the moment and we’re going to have to get these two pieces of legislation passed. Both need to be passed,” Mr. Biden said Friday.

Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D., Fla.), a co-chair of the Blue Dogs, said Democrats were still far from reaching an accord on the social-policy and climate package.



Photo:

Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg News

National Economic Council Director Brian Deese and White House legislative affairs director Louisa Terrell met with the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of centrist House Democrats, on Friday morning to discuss the two bills. Lawmakers who attended the meeting pushed for the infrastructure vote to take place Monday, a date top Democrats agreed to last month.

Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D., Fla.), a co-chair of the Blue Dogs, said Democrats were still far from reaching an accord on the social-policy and climate package, casting doubt on whether a vote next week could take place.

“Well there would be a lot of work that would have to be done between now and then,” Ms. Murphy said.

Mrs. Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) on Thursday said that they and the White House had agreed to a framework on the revenue provision of the legislation, the cost of which Democrats are hoping to fully cover with tax increases and new government savings. But lawmakers said that a number of differences between the two chambers remain unresolved, with officials exploring different possible tax options.

Write to Andrew Duehren at [email protected] and Kristina Peterson at [email protected]

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Rachel Meadows

Rachel Meadows

Trending topics news writer who enjoys cooking, walking her dog and travel.

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