We talk a lot about Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) because they are the ones who are most vocal about not being on board with the massive $3.5 trillion Biden/Pelosi spending bonanza. Manchin indicated this week that he wasn’t going to go along with the bill as presently constituted because of the tremendous price tag.
But as we’ve previously noted, while they are the most vocal, they aren’t the only Democrats who have issues with the plan.
Now the moderates are speaking out in their own names in a letter, bashing the approach being pushed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi has said that she wouldn’t consider the bipartisan infrastructure plan without the spending plan being passed first.
But nine Democrats are saying no way, flying right in her face.
New – In letter, nine House Dem moderates threaten to withhold support for their party’s budget resolution until Speaker Pelosi changes course and instead allows their chamber to first vote on the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan the Senate approved this week. pic.twitter.com/H5N6oyiV6i
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) August 13, 2021
“Some have suggested that we hold off on considering the Senate infrastructure bill for months – until the reconciliation process is completed. We disagree,” the group of nine Democrats said in the letter. “With the livelihoods of hardworking American families at stake, we simply can’t afford months of unnecessary delays and risk squandering this once-in-a-century, bipartisan infrastructure package.”
The group added: “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 nine Democrats who signed the letter are Reps. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J.; Jared Golden, D-Maine.; Carolyn Bourdeaux, D-Ga.; Filemon Vela, D-Texas; Henry Cuellar, D-Texas; Vicente Gonzalez, D-Texas; Ed Case, D-Hawaii; Jim Costa, D-Calif.; and Kurt Schrader, D-Ore.
That’s enough people to block Pelosi from getting her way because of the slim split of the parties in the House. Pelosi needs to use reconciliation to get the spending plan passed so she would need every Democratic vote she could get, with all the Republicans likely to vote against it. She can only afford to lose three votes so she’s up a creek without a paddle if they hold.
Meanwhile, folks on the left like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) have said they wouldn’t pass the infrastructure bill without the spending plan being passed.
“We have been clear for three months that we are not going to vote for the bipartisan package unless there is a reconciliation package that has passed, that includes sufficient funding for our five priorities,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), who heads the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told reporters earlier this month.
So it looks like a stalemate on getting anything passed if the moderates hold to their guns. And that’s great news when it comes to the monstrosity of spending and bad Democratic agenda items in the bills.