Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi speaks during her weekly briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 6, 2021. (Mandel Ngan – AFP / Getty Images)
By Jesse Stiller August 24, 2021 at 4:14pm
House Democrats scrambled to save plans to pass their $3.5 trillion budget plan Monday after moderate Democrats began an “internal revolt” to block a vote until an infrastructure bill was passed.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top-ranking Democrats scrapped plans for a vote on the budget proposal that was set to take place on Monday evening after frantic negotiations to quell a growing rift in the party were unsuccessful, The New York Times reported.
The House cut its August recess short to try to pass the large proposal by using a combined rule that would have passed the budget, the infrastructure bill and a voting rights bill at the same time against the wishes of several moderate democrats.
Hoyer to reporters leaving the House Democrats 9am meeting on the budget resolution and infrastructure bill at 10:03am: “We’re trying to reach an agreement.” pic.twitter.com/79kPoOaqGn
— Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) August 24, 2021
Nine center-left Democrats refused to participate in a budget vote unless the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which was passed in the Senate earlier this month, was voted on first.
Progressive Democrats previously said they wouldn’t support the infrastructure measure until the budget proposal was passed first, which would include, according to the Times, paid family leave, federal child care support and climate change efforts, among other provisions.
“We must not squander our Congressional Democratic Majorities and jeopardize the once-in-a-generation opportunity to create historic change to meet the needs of working families,” Pelosi said in a Monday letter to colleagues.
Pelosi just told us that the house will be in at noon to consider the rule for budget and infrastructure
I asked her if she’ll have a date certain for an infrastructure vote and she said, “we’ll see tomorrow, won’t we now?
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) August 24, 2021
Pelosi also reminded colleagues that the “success of each bill contributes to the success of the other.”
Should the Senate pass the $3.5 trillion budget?
Pelosi and Biden administration officials have reportedly made several rushed phone calls and held closed-door negotiations to win support for the measures.
The speaker also told holdouts that those who voted for Biden and put the Democratic Party in control were watching to see if Congress was going to “squander the opportunity to put in place a ‘transformative’ measure,” according to the Times.
Later in the evening, when she was asked whether she would commit to a date to vote on the infrastructure bill, Pelosi said, “We’ll see tomorrow, won’t we now?”
The budget proposal previously passed in the Senate by a vote of 50-49, despite vehement opposition by Republicans in the chamber.
Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley attempted to slow down the bill, if not change the text of the bill outright, by introducing at least a dozen amendments.
Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin was one of the first lawmakers who raised concerns about the budget last month, worried about the amount of spending and how the bill would be funded.
Despite the passage of the bill to the dismay of Senate Republicans, several amendments were added after moderate Democrats voted in favor of them, with one that reportedly banned the use of federal funds in the teaching of critical race theory.
The infrastructure bill also stands at 2,702 pages, with approximately $550 billion in new spending before amendments were added.
Seventeen Senate Republicans voted in favor of advancing the infrastructure bill into a debating phase, joining all 50 democrats in favor of the bill.
Former President Donald Trump strongly condemned the advancement of the infrastructure bill, threatening “lots of primaries” against senators who voted for the bill and calling Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney a “Super RINO.”
Democratic leaders moved to push the $3.5 trillion budget through the House Tuesday afternoon by promising a vote on the infrastructure bill in late September in an attempt to sway the group of moderates, according to the Times.