Congressional Progressive Caucus Prepares to Block Infrastructure Bill if Reconciliation Budget Fails
The Congressional Progressive Caucus is considering using its members to kill the Biden-backed $ 1 trillion infrastructure bill if the accompanying massive social spending plan spearheaded by House Democrats doesn't move forward.
The $ 3.5 trillion reconciliation package includes provisions for the Democrats' legislative priorities, namely education, childcare, climate change, and paid family and sick leave.
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House spokeswoman Pelosi has signaled that she will not proceed with the major bipartisan bill unless it is followed by the Reconciliation Act, while Republicans agree against the extremely expensive latter move.
Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal told Politico that the majority of her coalition, which includes 96 members, has privately shared that it is ready to thwart the infrastructure bill in protest, unless it is a package deal with the measure cited by the Democrats.
"Even if Republicans come" to support the Senate infrastructure in the House of Representatives, Jayapal said, "we will have more individuals and more Democrats opposed to it without the Atonement Act."
"I am very confident in our numbers and they are well over 20," she added.
The House of Representatives will meet again on Monday to continue the legislative process for two weeks. This meeting is expected to have a final vote on the infrastructure framework that Biden introduced many months ago.
To pass the Reconciliation Act, it will take the Democrats 51 votes in an evenly divided Senate, a difficult task given the opposition of moderate Senators Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema. As a major blow to Democratic goals, Manchin recently rejected the massive $ 3.5 trillion plan, citing the gigantic price tag and inflation concerns. To appease the Democrats, Manchin announced he was ready for a $ 1 trillion to $ 1.5 trillion reconciliation budget, but that lower cap wasn't good enough for Senator Bernie Sanders and MP Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“That is absolutely unacceptable to me. I don't think it's acceptable to the president, to the American people, or to the overwhelming majority of the people in the Democratic Group, ”Sanders said on CNN last week of the Manchin's scaled-down proposal.
Ocasio-Cortez has refused to give in to the reconciliation bill that goes parallel to the original package. She recently criticized Sinema for criticizing the cost of the social law.
"At the beginning of this process it was made very clear that this bipartisan deal, if it survives the Senate at all, has the only chance of getting the House of Representatives passed if the House passes the Senate law and the Senate passes the Representative Law, largely in reconciliation is, ”AOC said on CNN last month.
As a final strategy, some progressives in Congress believe they can use the Infrastructure Bill to pressure moderate Democrats to surrender and support the social spending package.
“Many of us agreed to postpone the bipartisan bill, understanding that the House would bring them together. It is certainly not my preference to let the bipartisan law go without a reconciliation agreement, ”Chris Murphy (D., Conn.), Former member of the Democratic House, told Politico.
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