The fate of the $1 trillion infrastructure bill remains unclear as Biden prepares to meet with House Democrats.
The fate of a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package remained in limbo on Tuesday as the liberal and moderate wings of the House Democratic caucus continued to debate whether that measure should be passed amid a sweeping $3.5 trillion economic package. had not yet been completed.
Moderate Democrats were adamant that the Senate-approved infrastructure package will get a ground vote next week. They previously received a promise from party leaders that it would be sent to the House of Representatives on September 27, even if the larger bill, which some of them oppose, was not implemented.
But Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington, the chair of the Progressive Caucus, emerged on Tuesday from a lengthy meeting with California Chair Nancy Pelosi to say a majority of liberal lawmakers would oppose the bill until the Senate passes the second, much larger package. who are expected to bear the climate, childcare and health care that they have advocated.
“I wanted to make sure she understood exactly where we were,” Ms. Jayapal said, adding that she had requested the meeting. “More than half of our caucus has committed to moving both bills at the same time, but we can’t move one without the other.”
When asked what she would say to moderates who believed progressives are bluffing, Ms. Jayapal: “Try us.”
As the two groups of Democrats jockeyed for influence, President Biden’s entire agenda was at stake. Democratic leaders spent much of Tuesday pushing for unity among their members and rushing to iron out the differences within the party that have delayed the release of a final version of the $3.5 trillion legislation. Since the Democrats plan to use a secretive budget process to pass that bill without the support of any Republican, they can afford to lose the support of just three Democrats in the House and none in the Senate. .
“I think both will succeed,” Maryland Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer said Tuesday. “I said in this morning’s caucus I thought, based on my conversation with members, different perspectives in the caucus, I thought that both bills will have the majority of support from the members of the House of Representatives to the Democratic Party. side of the aisle.”
Amid the deadlock, Mr Biden is expected to meet on Wednesday with Ms. Pelosi and New York Senator Chuck Schumer, the majority leader, according to a person familiar with the plans. He is also expected to organize a series of meetings with other lawmakers from across the ideological spectrum, confirmed a second person on condition of anonymity, to hear their perspectives and defend his agenda.