House delays infrastructure vote after progressives balk
The House again delayed a vote on the president's bipartisan infrastructure bill Thursday after opposition by progressives made it clear the legislation would not pass.
Why it matters: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had told Democrats earlier in the day she would call a vote after President Biden said "my presidency will be determined" by the passage — or lack thereof — of his two massive spending bills.
- The Speaker pulled out all the stops on Thursday to pass the bill, including a caucus-wide visit from the president, a release of the text for the $1.75 trillion spending package and a Rules Committee hearing — but to no avail.
Between the lines: Democrats' patience is continuing to wear thin as leadership keeps delaying a vote on the $1.2 trillion bipartisan bill that's already cleared the Senate. Pelosi's initial goal was to pass it on Sept. 27.
- The Congressional Progressive Caucus continued to dig it heels as late as 5 p.m. on Thursday, writing in a statement, “Members of our Caucus will not vote for the infrastructure bill without the Build Back Better Act."
- Although the caucus passed a framework for a deal on a $1.75 trillion social safety net expansion also proposed by Biden, progressives refused to pass the bipartisan bill before the bigger bill was drafted and passed by the Senate.
- Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said in a statement, "We will work immediately to finalize and pass both pieces of legislation through the House together.”
- Democrats had hoped to to use House approval of the infrastructure bill to boost their candidates in the gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia on Nov. 2.
What's next: The House is voting Thursday night on a temporary surface transportation authorization. The last short-term funding extension passed was set to expire on Sunday.
- Members will leave for the weekend and return to continue debate on the president's spending agenda, a source familiar with the procedure confirmed to Axios.
- Thursday night's surface transportation extension will run out on Dec. 3, which is the same day that the government runs out of funding and potentially hits the debt ceiling.