The vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill is set to move forward on Thursday, despite progressives vowing to withhold their support for the measure until there is movement on a sweeping social spending bill — with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying “we are on a path to win the vote.”
Pelosi’s confidence in the vote comes as top Democrats seek to pass the $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal and President Biden’s $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill, while moderates and progressives have signaled their willingness to kill both in recent days.
“I do not plan on not doing anything,” Pelosi (D-Calif.) said when asked if she would delay the vote. “I plan on moving forward in a positive direction.”
“I’m only envisioning taking it up and winning,” the speaker added.
“We’re on a path to win the vote and I don’t want to even consider any options other than that.”
Other Democrats, however, have little faith in a positive outcome for the bill.
When asked if he was confident the infrastructure bill would pass in the House, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) simply told reporters, “nope.”
One Democratic member of the House told The Post that it is “Still up in the air!” on whether the votes are there.
On Wednesday, progressive lawmakers asserted that they had more than enough votes to tank the bill, with Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) calling for moderate Sens. Kyrten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) — both of which have had multiple meeting with the White House — to provide a topline number for the reconciliation bill.
Manchin asserted that he would not support $3.5 trillion in social spending, reiterating his calls for Democrats to pause the process.
“Every Member of Congress has a solemn duty to vote for what they believe is best for the country and the American people, not their party. Respectfully, as I have said for months, I can’t support $3.5 trillion more in spending when we have already spent $5.4 trillion since last March. At some point, all of us, regardless of party, must ask the simple question – how much is enough?” he said in a statement.
While Manchin has not revealed a top line number he would agree to for the reconciliation bill, a Thursday report by POLITICO revealed he came to an agreement on $1.5 trillion with Senate Majority Chuck Schumer over the summer.
Manchin reportedly suggested beginning debate no sooner than October.
Following Manchin’s Wednesday comments, Jayapal told reporters that she believes his remarks sparked more progressives to attempt to block the bipartisan bill, singling that it would be dead upon arriving in the House.
For weeks, progressives have vowed to vote against the infrastructure deal if the reconciliation package is not passed first.
Republicans have heavily whipped against the bill, while Democrats have not whipped for it, one member told The Post.
During Thursday’s press conference, Pelosi called the reconciliation package the “culmination” of her time in Congress.
“I just told members of my leadership that the reconciliation bill was a culmination of my service in Congress because it was about the children.”
Punchbowl News founder Jake Sherman later pressed Pelosi on using the word “culmination,” noting that it usually points to the “end of an experience,” appearing to suggest an early retirement from the speaker.
“Get out of here,” Pelosi said, adding that the multi-trillion dollar package represents “so much.”
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