After weeks of wrangling with Senate Democrats and the White House, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is ready for her chamber to vote.
Congress Could Vote as Early as This Week
In a recently published article in Newsweek, a $1.2 trillion infrastructure program and a separate multi-trillion-dollar extension of the social safety net might be voted on by the Democrat-controlled House as early as this week. Members were told on Thursday to be ready to vote on the two bills if they were summoned this week.
Pelosi, a California Democrat, told the reporters of the different news outlets on Thursday “We’re going to pass both bills. But in order to do so, we have to have votes for both bills and that’s where we are.”
Democrats Hope To Pass Both Bills Without Any Problems
Democratic leaders had hoped to reach an agreement on a parallel track to approve both proposals, frequently setting self-imposed deadlines to reach a compromise that would allow both to succeed. Pelosi’s new strategy, however, will open the road for final approval of the infrastructure bill, while members continue to debate priorities for the Build Back Better agenda, a social spending plan.
Progressives had intended to expand the social safety net more broadly, but they scaled down their ideas in the face of resistance from conservative Democrats, headed by Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, according to a report published in The New York Times.
Biden is Confident a Deal Could Be Reached
President Biden said that progressives and centrists could reach an agreement on an infrastructure measure as well as a comprehensive social spending and climate package in six minutes, six days, or six weeks.
Faced with an intraparty fight over his domestic agenda, President Biden placed his $1 trillion infrastructure program on hold on Friday, warning Democrats that a vote on the popular bill would have to wait until Democrats passed his much more ambitious social policy and climate change package.
It was largely a bid to mediate the impasse that has stymied a planned vote on a bipartisan infrastructure bill, which progressives refuse to support until the rest of Biden’s agenda is addressed in a major budget bill, which would expand health care, education, climate change initiatives, and paid leave, among other things.