Members of the House Face a Choice on Monday

The fate of the bipartisan infrastructure bill in Monday’s vote will come down to decisions by individual representatives, both Democrats and Republicans, whether or not to put principle above party.

President Biden, Speaker Pelosi, and other Democratic leaders are now working to get Democrats on board. But estimates are that 50 or more progressives could vote against the bill — a bill that they support.

Meanwhile, even though Senate Minority Leader McConnell and 18 other Senate Republicans voted for the bill — which closely mirrors infrastructure spending proposed by then-President Trump — House GOP leaders are now actively whipping against the legislation.

Most Democrats will vote for the bill next week, and most Republicans will vote against it. Whether it reaches 218 votes on Monday will come down to whether Democrats will support Biden and Pelosi in endorsing a plan that is central to the president’s agenda, and whether Republicans will buck their party to vote to fund roads, bridges, broadband, water, and electricity — and create millions of jobs.

It is again worth remembering that a clear majority of the House wants what is in this bill. Progressives are threatening to kill $1.2 trillion in spending that has the support of 75% of Americans because they may not also get an additional $3.5 trillion that no Capitol Hill Republicans — and not even all of their Democratic colleagues — support.

During an interview with House Progressive Caucus Chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) on Wednesday morning, CNN’s Brianna Keilar summed it up: “[Moderates] would be willing to take something, which is the bipartisan bill. You would be willing to take nothing other than both. … The reality is that if the Progressive Caucus continues with the hard line here, there could be nothing.”

It is progressives, not moderates who are dividing Democrats over this legislation. On MSNBC Wednesday afternoon, House Problem Solvers Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) reminded viewers, “Every single Democrat in August came down and voted to make sure we sent this bill to the floor on Monday.” Not a single progressive opposed Pelosi’s agreement with the Unbreakable Nine to hold the vote by September 27.

As Gottheimer told MSNBC, “This is such an important bill for the president. We want to back his agenda. We’re going to do that. We’re going to debate this bill and vote on it and come together and get it over the finish line.”



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