They broke their word, and didn’t get it done.
On Friday, President Biden went to Capitol Hill to whip against his own bill, calling for a delay in House action on the bipartisan infrastructure bill until the single-party, multi-trillion-dollar social spending and climate bill was ready. In so doing, Biden sided against those who were trying to fulfill his stated desire to “send it to my desk as soon as possible.” Speaker Pelosi, who promised a vote by September 27, is now setting a target date of more than a month later.
As House Problem Solvers Co-Chair Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) said, “It’s deeply regrettable that Speaker Pelosi breached her firm, public commitment to Members of Congress and the American people to hold a vote and to pass the once-in-a-century bipartisan infrastructure bill on or before September 27.”
Gottheimer said that he and others have been “working around-the-clock to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill, legislation we helped craft back in April with my Senate colleagues. But a small far left faction of the House of Representatives undermined that agreement and blocked a critical vote on the President’s historic bipartisan infrastructure bill. … This far left faction is willing to put the President’s entire agenda, including this historic bipartisan infrastructure package, at risk. They’ve put civility and bipartisan governing at risk.”
President Biden created this mess. Instead of quickly securing a major bipartisan win, he broke his word and played Nancy Pelosi’s partisan games.
Washington is now so broken that it can’t pass something that both parties agree on. What a disgrace.https://t.co/EUDzYpRNdC
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) October 2, 2021
Canceling the U.S. House vote on the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act denies Americans millions of new good-paying jobs and hurts everyday families.
Full statement ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/BM7hrUL3KK
— Kyrsten Sinema (@SenatorSinema) October 2, 2021
This setback is disheartening, to say the least. But it should not lead us to forget what an accomplishment it is to even be at this point.
At the start of June, any bipartisan infrastructure legislation appeared dead. But after talks broke down, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) went to negotiate with a President of the other party, resulting in a bill crafted by a truly bipartisan group of senators based on the framework created by the Problem Solvers and senators who gathered earlier this year in Annapolis at a two-party summit hosted by Gov. Larry Hogan (R-MD). That bill passed the Senate 69-30, with both Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer voting for it.
Six months ago, all of that would have sounded like a pipe dream. But it was made real by the hard work of No Labels allies in both houses. Their work is not yet finished — and the precedent they set proves that much more can be done, on all manner of issues of concern to the American people.