Speaker Pelosi, Keep Your Promise

“I am committing to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill by September 27. I do so with a commitment to rally House Democratic support for its passage.”

So said Speaker Pelosi just three weeks ago, in announcing an agreement with the Unbreakable Nine House Democrats to hold a clean vote on that popular measure by that date. With 11 days to go, we are counting on Pelosi to keep that promise.

She can certainly get it done. As USA Today’s Susan Page, author of a Pelosi biography, said in April, Pelosi “is a master of the inside game of politics and of being a legislative leader. She also can bring down the hammer in a way that holds her caucus in line.” Journalist John Bresnahan once described Pelosi’s leadership style as an “iron fist in a Gucci glove.”

Pelosi is not the only person with a role to play. President Biden can use the presidential bully pulpit to shore up support among Democrats as well as pro-infrastructure House Republicans, whose votes will be needed to counteract defections from those on the left who still want to hold the infrastructure bill hostage until they can secure passage of the $3.5 trillion social spending and climate package.

But ultimately, Pelosi is the one person, more than any other, whose decisions will shape whether the infrastructure vote can achieve the necessary 218 votes on September 27. She promised to hold the vote, and she promised to whip the 220-member Democratic caucus to get behind it.

We hope she will keep both parts of her promise.

Also…

·       No Labels Senate Co-Chair Susan Collins writes in a Time 100 feature on fellow Senate Co-Chair Joe Manchin that Manchin “is in the midst of every debate. He is front and center on the filibuster issue, the infrastructure debate, and issues from voting laws to immigration to taxes and spending, as well as nearly every appointment made by the President. In short, Joe is the go-to-guy in the 50-50 Senate.” She says Manchin “believes passionately that bipartisanship leads to the best solutions, and he wants to prove it can still work.”

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