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Democrats Rush To Get Votes On Spending Package, Infrastructure Bill

Democrats Rush To Get Votes On Spending Package, Infrastructure Bill


House Set To Vote On Biden's $1.75 Trillion Economic Plan U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, arrives to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021. The House plans to vote today on the White House's $1.75 trillion economic package and a separate infrastructure bill, after intense 11th-hour negotiations by the House Speaker appeared to settle lingering differences. Photographer: Craig Hudson/Bloomberg via Getty Images Bloomberg / Contributor

Democrats in the House were trying to set up votes on two pieces of legislation on Friday, attempting to pass President Biden’s massive social spending package and the bipartisan infrastructure bill. 

As reported by The Washington Post, “Democrats hope to vote first on a nearly $2 trillion plan that would expand Medicare, provide free, universal prekindergarten for all American children, set aside new sums to fight global warming, and offer new benefits to low-income families, much of which is paid for through taxes on millionaires and corporations.”

Additionally, after deliberation on that package, The Post reported, “Democrats next hope to turn to a roughly $1.2 trillion measure to improve the nation’s roads, bridges, pipes, ports and Internet connections. That infrastructure measure cleared the Senate on a bipartisan basis in August, but it has remained stuck in the House.”

On Friday morning, it was reportedly still unclear as to what the schedule for the votes could be.

“We’re working on it,” said House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD), as they kept trying to secure votes.Members are also still awaiting a report from the Congressional Budget Office on the costs of the legislation, among other items. The White House has repeatedly made the claim that the spending bill would cost nothing to the American people, a line of thinking that has been met with mockery.

The New York Times reported: 

Late Thursday night, Democratic leaders postponed a vote on the measure to Friday, when they also hoped to clear a Senate-passed $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill for President Biden’s signature. A senior aide who disclosed the update on the condition of anonymity said they were confident they could complete the measures by Friday.

However, other reports later showed that Democrats were potentially starting to lose faith in success on Friday.

“It’s not looking good,” a source reportedly familiar with the discussions told The Hill.

Progressives were holding up the bipartisan infrastructure bill in an attempt to pressure moderate Democrats in the Senate, such as Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), to agree to the social spending bill.

Manchin has been one of the strongest opponents of the massive spending package due to its hefty price tag that was originally around $3.5 trillion. He has pushed back against passing such an expensive bill in the context of the nation’s inflation and uncertainty about the future.

Democrats in the House have gone back and forth with the bills in recent months as negotiations continued.

As reported by The Daily Wire on Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was reportedly pushing her colleagues to vote on the two bills this week.

As reported by The Wall Street Journal: 

The California Democrat told House Democrats in a closed-door meeting on Thursday that she hoped the House would vote on the [spending package] later that day, and then vote on the Senate-passed infrastructure bill on Friday, according to people familiar with her remarks. Progressives have been blocking the roughly $1 trillion infrastructure bill until they were satisfied with the language in the social-spending and climate-change bill. 

She told the press, “We’re going to pass both bills, but in order to do so we have to have the votes for both bills.”

Pelosi also requested paid family and medical leave to be included in the hearing on the social spending package earlier this week. 

Manchin, a key Democratic vote, had not been in support of including the paid family leave measure in the package, which originally led to the Democrats cutting it from the legislation. The Democrats need all Democratic votes in the Senate to get the bill through.

Manchin doubled down on his position against including paid family leave in the spending package on Thursday, saying, “That’s a piece of legislation that really is needed from the standpoint: if we do it and do it right.” 

He said a policy of paid family leave with participation between employers and workers should be completed, saying, “We can do that in a bipartisan way. We can make sure it’s lasting.” 

He noted, “When you do something in reconciliation and you throw all the cost and all the debt toward our national debt and the taxpayers, usually [that’s going to] flip flop back and forth as soon as someone else takes over as the majority.”

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