House Speaker Nancy Pelosi received bad news from a group of “moderate” Democrats.
A group of nine Democrats is threatening to torpedo their party’s $3.5 trillion spending plan unless the infrastructure bill receives a vote first.
This is “an act of direct defiance” to Pelosi and “a bold exertion of power,” Fox News reports.
Democrats hold a very narrow majority in the House.
The group said in a letter, “Some have suggested that we hold off on considering the Senate infrastructure bill for months – until the reconciliation process is completed. We disagree.”
They continued, “With the livelihoods of hardworking American families at stake, we simply can’t afford months of unnecessary delays and risk squandering this once-in-a-century, bipartisan infrastructure package.”
“We will not consider voting for a budget resolution until the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passes the House and is signed into law.”
NEW: moderate House Dems squeeze Pelosi, say they will NOT vote for BUDGET RESOLUTION until bipartisan infrastructure bill PASSES AND IS SIGNED INTO LAW.
It comes as progressives say they will not vote for bipartisan infra without reconciliation pic.twitter.com/dIAtKt1rLL
— Jacqui Heinrich (@JacquiHeinrich) August 13, 2021
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Those nine are enough to prevent the budget resolution recently passed by Senate Democrats from making it through the House. Republicans are expected to uniformly vote against it, and the party split in the House is 220-212 with three vacancies.
That injects a strong dose of drama into the process of the House passing the budget resolution, which Pelosi warned earlier this week should happen “without drama.”
The budget resolution is the key that unlocks the budget reconciliation process, which allows Democrats to circumvent the legislative filibuster in the Senate.
Democratic leaders and party progressives are planning to use that process to pass $3.5 trillion of President Biden’s agenda that they could not get through the Senate under regular order due to GOP opposition. But they’ll need the support of their party’s moderates to force the measure through with razor thin majorities in both the House and Senate.
Pelosi, D-Calif., and House progressives like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., are unlikely to immediately cave to the demand from the moderates. A senior Democratic aide told Fox News Friday that there are not enough votes to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill in August. The aide said there are “dozens and dozens” of Democrats who won’t vote for infrastructure until the Senate produces a reconciliation bill.
Ocasio-Cortez and other members of the left-wing “Squad” have said that they will not vote for the infrastructure bill until the Senate produces reconciliation bill. And Pelosi has repeatedly said she won’t bring it to the floor.