Following democratic internal struggles, Biden’s infrastructure plan stalled


Progressive House of Representatives lawmakers have redoubled their efforts to block passage of President Joe Biden’s $ 1 trillion infrastructure compromise bill, defying demands by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ( D-CA) so that it can be adopted on Thursday without delay.

Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, warned that about half of her ninety-five-member group was ready to vote against the infrastructure bill, although he has already supported it, if it was put to a vote. before the biggest $ 3.5 trillion bill. The second, bigger beak is being adopted by “reconciliation”, a procedural measure that prevents Republican obstruction.

Progressive Democrats fear that moderate Democrats, who have expressed reservations about the larger bill, may vote to pass the smaller bipartisan bill before turning around and blocking the larger one. Therefore, they warned that unless both were passed at the same time, they would prevent the passage of the smaller bill, effectively holding it hostage.

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) described this strategy in an interview with NBC, saying, “My fear is that if the double deal that was made is broken and we just pass the infrastructure bill, the leverage we have here in the Senate to pass the reconciliation bill will be largely gone. “

The fears of progressives are well founded. Moderate senses Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) have long opposed the price of the reconciliation bill, and Jayapal criticized the pair for rejecting the $ 3.5 trillion without providing another number.

However, some lawmakers have criticized Jayapal and other progressives for jeopardizing a bill that all Democrats and many Republicans support.

“We need both bills. Threatening to vote against one until and unless the other is ready for ‘my’ approval is not only hostage taking but risks backfire, “Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) told NBC, warning that if progressives block the smaller bill, moderate Democrats could block the bigger one, driving the signature infrastructure proposal of Biden to collapse on the eve of his adoption.

While the final text of the smaller infrastructure bill has been drafted and is ready for a vote, the precise language and specifications of the larger reconciliation bill have yet to be finalized, leaving room for other compromises.

A separate fight on Capitol Hill involves the looming US government budget crisis. On Wednesday evening, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced an interim measure to fund the government until 2022, but warned that an extension would be needed soon. Congress also faces a looming collision with the US debt limit, which would force the US to default on its debts if it is not resolved by October 18.

Trevor Filseth is a current affairs and foreign affairs writer for the National interest.

Image: Reuters

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