Problem Solvers Fight for House Infrastructure Vote

The infrastructure fight is on in the House.

The WaPo says Democratic moderates are “issuing early, private warnings” that they will not back consideration of the $3.5 trillion social spending and climate bill “unless they could vote first on a bipartisan infrastructure bill that also cleared the Senate this week.” House Problem Solvers Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) said, “We don’t want to just rubber-stamp what they send us.”

Politico says at least five other Democrats could join him — enough to block the larger bill. Said Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA), “If we’ve got $1 trillion in infrastructure spending sitting there, I think we should vote on it.” However, Speaker Pelosi says there will not be a vote on infrastructure this month.

While 69 senators voted for the $1.2 trillion two-party infrastructure bill, which is supported by nearly three out of four Americans, the bigger bill has no Republican support in either chamber — and may not even snag a majority in the Senate.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is expressing “serious concerns” about the $3.5 trillion plan, saying, “I firmly believe that continuing to spend at irresponsible levels puts at risk our nation’s ability to respond to the unforeseen crises our country could face.”

NPR says Manchin is “not the only centrist who has bristled at another massive federal spending bill.” Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) “has said she has issues with the price tag.” If either of these senators opposes the $3.5 trillion package, it will fail. The question for backers of practical solutions: Will it drag down the bipartisan infrastructure plan with it?

Vox says the bipartisan bill “brings funding for projects to every state. This will allow both Democratic and Republican incumbents to point to specific investments it would bring their constituents on everything from broadband to public transit.”

This popular and pragmatic bill can pass the House by the end of summer. All Pelosi has to do is put the infrastructure bill up first.

For now, let’s remember who got us here. No Labels allies in the Senate — Manchin, Sinema, and Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) — joined together to negotiate, write, and pass the bill.

The bipartisan agreement itself was only possible due to the Problem Solvers and our Senate allies — who worked across party lines and across the two chambers. They’ve been getting it done so far. Pelosi should let them finish the job.

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