Infighting from the democrat party may be the only thing preventing Nancy Pelosi from pushing Joe Biden’s radical $3.5 million budget.
On Monday Pelosi failed to convince a small contingent of “moderates” to agree to the bill.
The moderate lawmakers demanded that the House first pass a $1 trillion infrastructure package.
Pelosi implored the group to come to an agreement.
According to an anonymous source, she said:
“Right now, we have an opportunity to pass something so substantial for our country, so transformative we haven’t seen anything like it.”
“We cannot squander this majority and this Democratic White House by not passing what we need to do.”
Republicans are completely united against the budget.
AP News has details on the democrat stalemate over the radical new spending bill, which republicans are fully opposed to:
Brushing past moderates, House Democratic leaders tried to muscle President Joe Biden’s multitrillion-dollar budget blueprint over a key hurdle Monday night, hoping to shelve for now an intraparty showdown that risks upending their domestic infrastructure agenda.
Tensions rose as lawmakers returned for the evening session and a band of moderate lawmakers threatened to withhold their votes for the $3.5 trillion plan. They were demanding the House first approve a $1 trillion package of road, power grid, broadband and other infrastructure projects that’s already passed the Senate.
But as the evening dragged on the chamber came to a standstill and plans were thrown into flux as leaders and lawmakers huddled privately at the Capitol trying to broker an agreement.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi implored Democrats during a private caucus not to bog down and miss this chance to deliver on the promises Biden and the party have made to Americans.
“Right now, we have an opportunity to pass something so substantial for our country, so transformative we haven’t seen anything like it,” Pelosi said, according to a person who requested anonymity to disclose the private comments.
Pelosi told them it was “unfortunate” they were discussing the process when they should be debating the policy. “We cannot squander this majority and this Democratic White House by not passing what we need to do,” she said.
With Republicans fully opposed to the president’s big plans, the Democratic leaders were trying to engineer a way out of a potentially devastating standoff between the party’s moderate and progressive wings that risks Biden’s agenda.
Pelosi’s leadership sought to sidestep the issue by persuading lawmakers to vote to simply start the process and save the policy fight for the months ahead, when they will be crafting and debating details within the full $3.5 trillion budget proposal.
One by one, powerful committee chairmen urged their colleagues to move forward.
“There’s a long way to go on legislative issues that are going to play out over the next month. But for the moment the argument here is about: Shall the House proceed,” said Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.
It was unclear if the moderates were fully on board and as soon as one meeting broke, another private session was convened with them for further discussion. What had been a night of scheduled votes came to an unexpected standstill.
Confronting their party’s most powerful leaders, nine moderate Democrats signed onto a letter late last week raising their objections to pushing ahead with Biden’s broader infrastructure proposal without first considering the smaller public works plan that has already passed the Senate. Other moderates raised similar concerns in recent days.
House democrats are now scrambling to break a stalemate on the bill according to NBC News:
House Democrats regrouped Tuesday after delaying a vote to advance President Joe Biden's infrastructure bill and multitrillion-dollar social safety net expansion, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi struggled to tame a rebellion from centrist lawmakers.
At a caucus meeting Tuesday, Pelosi told Democrats she was optimistic a deal was close as she eyed an afternoon vote that would include concessions to appease the moderates.
"I’m sorry that we couldn’t land the plane last night, and that you all had to wait. But that’s just part of the legislative progress," she said, according to a Democratic aide. "I think we’re close to landing the plane."
The stakes are high for Biden's top two legislative priorities.
The president and his staff have called a variety of House members, including centrist holdouts, to advocate for Pelosi's plan and stressed that both the infrastructure and budget bills are critical to his agenda, a White House official said.
The House Rules Committee met again Tuesday morning with the aim of setting up votes on the budget resolution that will allow them to begin work on the $3.5 trillion package, as well as tee up votes on the Senate-passed infrastructure bill and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.