Here we are again.
The infrastructure vote has been delayed again as a chunk of the Progressive Caucus refused to vote for the bill — which they support — until the Democratic social spending package is also brought to a vote.
This time, Speaker Pelosi urged progressives not to “embarrass” the President on the eve of his trip to Europe, and just days out from a nail-biter election in Virginia. It didn’t matter. Pelosi was forced to renege on her announcement that an infrastructure vote would take place by the end of the day.
The episode once again proves that the Democratic power bloc has shifted to a small but powerful group on the left who know that with essentially no votes to spare, they can defy both the President and the Speaker with impunity. Pelosi thought they were bluffing, and would fall into line if she actually called a vote. They didn’t.
So where does this leave things? Democrats are close to agreement on that social spending package, with a framework released, and both progressives and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) signaling they can agree on a $1.75 trillion price tag — if not yet on the specifics of the final bill.
President Biden's framework is the product of months of negotiations and input from all members of the Democratic Party who share a common goal to deliver for the American people.
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) October 28, 2021
Punchbowl says the House passed “a short-term extension of surface transportation programs until Dec. 3. That capped off a confusing, disheartening day in which no one in the House leadership seemed to know what was going on.”
This is no way to run a government.