House Democratic leaders confirmed Tuesday “that they won’t be delaying the Sept. 27 vote on the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill — even though the party’s larger $3.5 trillion reconciliation package won’t likely be ready to go by then,” Politico reports, which “effectively decouples the two bills.”
This means legislators will face a clear choice. Do they want to pass this popular and essential legislation now, and get it to President Biden’s desk, or not?
That could be up to Speaker Pelosi. Progressives continue to threaten to kill the bill, even though they support the spending it contains. The Washington Post says Majority Leader Steny Hoyer “urged fellow Democrats to recognize the big picture and remain united on not giving up on a rare opportunity to pass hundreds of priorities.” But according to Punchbowl, House Progressive Caucus Chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) “says she has the votes to block the infrastructure bill” on Monday.
When Pelosi agreed to call a vote by September 27, she also vowed to “rally House Democratic support” for the legislation. Time is running out for her to follow through.
House Problem Solvers Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) said Tuesday, “There’s nobody better than Speaker Pelosi at getting votes. She committed to getting votes and I know she will.” Punchbowl says Gottheimer is “putting this on Pelosi’s plate. She made the commitment, and she is the best at rounding up votes, Gottheimer said. In other words, time to keep your word, Madam Speaker.”
The overwhelming majority of Americans support the bipartisan infrastructure bill, but it is at risk of being hijacked by partisan politics. We are calling on the House to pass it without further delay. https://t.co/kbywzpZTDt
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) September 21, 2021
Sadek Wahba of the Development Research Institute of New York University writes in The Hill, “Some progressive members had vowed to defeat the bill — the largest since the 1950s that focuses solely on infrastructure investment.” Those threats “are a step in the wrong direction.” The Coalition for Bipartisan Infrastructure held a national day of action on Tuesday, Politico reports, that included “a letter to House members, meetings on the Hill and a grassroots and social media push urging members to support the bill.”
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will upgrade our nation’s roads and bridges — and so much more. #DidYouKnow our bill provides $2.4 billion for the @forestservice and @Interior to help prevent wildfires by reducing hazardous fuels on federal, state, and Tribal lands?
— Kyrsten Sinema (@kyrstensinema) September 21, 2021
The bipartisan bill contains provisions that real Americans need. Take California farmers Dan Errotabere and John Monroe, who write, “Passage of this bill is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to help promote drought resiliency, adjust to climate change, protect the environment, mitigate wildfires, maintain a safe, healthy, local food supply and ensure communities have the water they need to run their homes and power their businesses. … All eyes are now on the House to bring desperately needed relief.”