Aug 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

$3.5 trillion budget plan stalls in House amid standoff between Pelosi, centrists

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, center, departs the House Democratic Caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi departs the House Democratic Caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The $3.5 trillion budget framework stalled in the House early Tuesday after tense negotiations between Democratic leaders and centrists failed to reach an agreement.

Driving the news: Moderate Democrats, who have vowed to block the deal until a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package is passed, held out on early Tuesday morning as divisions in the party flared, the New York Times writes.

  • The House is set to reconvene at noon on Tuesday to resume debate on the measure.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged Democrats during a private caucus on Monday to deliver on the promises President Biden and the party have made to Americans, AP reports.
  • "Right now, we have an opportunity to pass something so substantial for our country, so transformative we haven’t seen anything like it," Pelosi said, per AP. "We cannot squander this majority and this Democratic White House by not passing what we need to do."

The big picture: Pelosi's proposal to moderates would expedite passage of the $3.5 trillion social spending plan and includes a promise to approve the bipartisan infrastructure bill by the time current surface transportation programs expire on Sept. 30, per Politico.

  • But the group of centrists, led by Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.Y.), have so far refused any deal that doesn't include an immediate, standalone vote on the infrastructure bill.
  • “The House can’t afford to wait months or do anything to risk passing” the infrastructure bill, Gottheimer, said late last week, per AP.

Go deeper: Pelosi stares down dissenters

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