Progressives block infrastructure vote again, but endorse Biden reconciliation framework in massive compromise

Biden will go to his climate summit empty-handed, but his agenda inched one step closer to passing

Progressives block infrastructure vote again, but endorse Biden reconciliation framework in massive compromise

After pushing for a vote on Thursday the Congressional Progressive Caucus beat Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and President Biden, the pair pushed for a vote to pass the infrastructure Bill before Biden's climate summit next week in the U.K.

After doing the exact same thing last month, the caucus forced Congress to delay a vote on the bill.

They demand more progress in the passage of the Democrats' reconciliation spending plan. They claim they aren't sure that the Senate moderates support the bill.

Jayapal stated in a Thursday statement that "the reality is that although talks about the infrastructure bill lasted months in Senate, there was only serious discussion around specifics of the larger Build back Better Act in recent weeks. This is due to the Progressive Caucus holding firm and putting both sides of the agenda back on track."

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) participates in the news conference Wednesday, June 16, 2021. Jayapal and her House Progressive Caucus, blocked the vote bring request by President Biden, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), yet again. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

"Members in our Caucus won't vote for the infrastructure bill if it is not accompanied by the Build Back Better Act. She added that we will immediately work together to pass both pieces of legislation through Congress."

Jayapal and her fellow members also supported the framework for reconciliation bills that President Biden released on Thursday morning. It would cost $1.75 Trillion.

Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker, listens to a reporter's question during a news conference held on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday Oct. 28, 2021. Pelosi tried to pass the infrastructure bill on Thursday but House progressives were able to block it.

$1.75 trillion seems like a huge sum of money. It's still half the $3.5 trillion that progressives wanted at the start of the reconciliation process. Some progressives were even more ambitious, aiming for a bill that could cost $6 trillion or higher.

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), along with other moderates in both the House and Senate were concerned about overspending as the economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

The 76th session of the U.N. General Assembly will be held in New York City on September 21, 2021. President Biden addresses it. Biden requested Congress to pass the bipartisan Infrastructure bill prior to his trip to the U.K. Climate Summit, but House progr Timothy A. Clary–Pool/Getty Images

Sinema and Manchin have not yet explicitly supported the Biden reconciliation framework. Democrats acknowledge that there are still many things to be done to make the president's proposal a final bill that can pass the Senate and the House -- any senator or a few House members could stall the entire effort.

However, Democrats seem to be closer to a deal with both reconciliation and infrastructure passing in November thanks to their support for a plan that includes massive compromises on many major priorities.

Jayapal stated Thursday that the Congressional Progressive Caucus overwhelmingly voted in principle to endorse President Biden's entire Build Back Better Act framework.

"We are excited about this framework. "We are excited about the progress made," Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), said.

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