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Photo: Craig Hudson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the House would move forward with a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill Friday, despite anger and surprise from progressives in the caucus who were caught off guard by the sudden shift in strategy.

Driving the news: Pelosi changed course when she called for a vote on the infrastructure bill before a final vote on the social spending package as a way to appease moderates who want to see a CBO score.

  • Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) said progressives would not support a standalone infrastructure vote and would likewise wait for a CBO score, leaving a path forward on both bills unclear.
  • “This has been a bit of a curveball, this latest development, and it’s unsettling and disruptive, and I hope we can get back on that original track," said Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), a progressive member. “It is a moving of the goalposts that surprised a lot of people, takes us on a very different track, in some ways puts us back to where we were the prior two times. That’s not a good place for me and many of my colleagues.”
  • "I think you can say people are frustrated,” said Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.).
  • Rep. Kai Kahele (D.-Hawaii) also said progressives are “frustrated” and echoed Jayapal’s willingness to wait for CBO score: “If some of our colleagues want to see a CBO score, maybe we’ll wait.”
  • Pelosi and leadership tried to assuage progressive concerns, noting at a press conference they would vote and pass the larger spending package by Thanksgiving at the latest.
  • Moderates are demanding a CBO score on the package, which could take several weeks.
  • The delay, a third in just over a month’s time on the president's agenda, comes after a frenetic whipping effort from Pelosi on Thursday and several phone calls to undecided House Democrats from the president himself late in the evening.

Moderate Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine) told reporters he is a “no” on the larger spending bill without a CBO score adding that he also wants the bipartisan infrastructure bill to be voted on first.

  • Pelosi spent the morning meeting with Golden and other moderates, including Reps. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.), Ed Case (D-Hawaii), Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) and Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.).

Between the lines: The infrastructure bill, which has already passed the Senate, only needs a vote in the House before it heads to the president’s desk and can be signed into law.

What's next: The House is scheduled to recess next week.

Go deeper

Dec 7, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Congress hunts for shortcut to pass defense funding, debt limit combo

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer returned to his office Monday. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The scramble in Congress to pass the National Defense Authorization Act is being complicated by an effort to tie it to a needed hike in the federal debt limit.

Why it matters: The House and Senate are rapidly coming up against a series of deadlines they must address before the end of the year — or risk disrupting crucial military funding and upending the economy. Congressional leaders are now hoping they can knock out both "must-pass" priorities in one, complex swoop.

Women politicians are under siege

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Kevin Dietsch, Stefani Reynolds, and Alex Wong/Getty Images

Women in Congress feel besieged and singled-out amid surging threats against lawmakers at all levels, with some frustrated more hasn't been done to halt the trend.

Why it matters: As record numbers of American women are being elected to public office, their growing political power is being met with death and rape threats, sexist and racist abuse and online disinformation. Collectively, it's discouraged women from running for office.

FDA approves AstraZeneca COVID drug for people with immune problems

Photo: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for an AstraZeneca COVID-19 antibody drug for people with compromised immune systems.

Why it matters: The drug, Evusheld, is the first antibody therapy authorized in the U.S. to prevent coronavirus symptoms before virus exposure.