Pelosi and Democratic Leaders Aim for Thursday Vote on Social Spending Package
20:51 GMT 04.11.2021 (Updated: 18:55 GMT 19.10.2022)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Democratic leaders are aiming to hold a vote Thursday on their social spending package, with a Friday vote on the Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure proposal, as progressives sought an agreement on the larger piece of President Joe Biden’s economic agenda.
Democrats are reportedly trying to round up votes in their caucus by negotiating a compromise that would satisfy both centrists and progressives — on a plan that would invest in child care, paid leave, health care, education and the fight against climate change, according to The Hill.
Some centrists told party leaders in recent days that they needed more time to review the proposal and wait for a cost analysis from the Congressional Budget Office.
“Not every member will get everything he or she wanted,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), told his caucus in a letter to Senate Democrats back in October. “But at the end of the day, we will pass legislation that will dramatically improve the lives of the American people.”
Democrats said during a closed-door meeting Tuesday at the Capitol where lawmakers rose and vented their frustration, that the divisions that have prevented an agreement were receding, and lawmakers were “un-circling the firing squad,” in the words of Congressman Juan Vargas (D-CA).
"Hopefully we’ll see if we have votes for [Build Back Better] tonight and [the bipartisan infrastructure bill] tomorrow morning,” Pelosi said during the closed-door meeting.
The Thursday vote comes two days after Democrats lost the race for governor in Virginia, where the Republican Party hadn’t been elected to statewide office in Virginia since 2009.
Pelosi had sought a vote on the $1 trillion infrastructure legislation last week that was quickly rejected by the House's liberal wing, and by many progressive House members that were not convinced by the promise of a “framework” alone.
Across the Capitol, Democratic leaders have been working frantically to put pressure on Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) to vote, after interjecting uncertainty and fighting over details of the sprawling 1,600-page package.
"Manchin’s not going to give a blood oath, so let’s just put it out there,” House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY), a member of Pelosi’s leadership team, told The Hill on Thursday. “Everyday we delay, we empower Manchin more.”
"We hope that he will see the light of day,” Pelosi said of Manchin.
Pelosi on Thursday acknowledged the analysis from the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) report showing that the revenue provisions in the social spending package was “validating” evidence that the package “is solidly paid for.”
"This shouldn’t take long to get,” she said.
The plans to vote on both bills this week are still tentative, Democrats warned.