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Rep. Mark Pocan, who says, "I trust the president." Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

House progressives say they're willing to stop holding the bipartisan infrastructure bill hostage based on a presidential promise.

Why it matters: A key sticking point for progressives supporting the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill was their requirement the Senate first pass the nearly $2 trillion social safety net expansion they favor. Now, they say senators only have to promise they'll do so before they support the BIF.

  • A lingering condition: the House has to hold its votes on both bills the same day.

Driving the news: Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) told Axios 30 members of the Progressive Caucus executive board were reassured by President Biden's pledge that all 50 Democratic senators will pass the social spending bill.

  • “I trust the president. He was emphatic when we met with him that he's not going to do anything to jeopardize, you know, his word, because then we won't be able to get anything else done," Pocan said.
  • Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the caucus chair, said she has "dozens" of members on board with the agreement.
  • "We have backed off the position that we need to have a Senate vote based on my conversations with the president," Jayapal told reporters Wednesday. "I would take his assurances that all 50 senators are on board and aren't going to undermine the deal."
  • She also said it doesn't matter whether the social spending package is voted on before or after the infrastructure bill — as long as the House votes on both on the same day.

Driving the news: Support from the vast majority of House progressives is needed without dozens of Republican votes in that chamber.

  • House Republican leaders are urging their members not to give them.
  • Some moderates inclined to do so feel burned progressives blocked a vote on the infrastructure bill until they got their assurances on the social spending package.

What they're saying: Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) echoed the sentiment.

  • "There is some mistrust when it comes to the Senate," he said. If Biden gives his word, "then I'll trust the president."
  • House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) acknowledged the progressive demand.
  • "I think it's gonna be necessary for the president to look them in the eye and say, 'I believe, having talked [Sen. Joe] Manchin, having talked to [Sen. Kyrsten] Sinema, that if this framework is passed, they will pass it in the Senate," Hoyer told CNN's Manu Raju.

But, but, but: Not all progressives are satisfied with just words.

  • “We’ve had frameworks for the last six months tossed around and we haven’t had a vote, so I don’t think a framework is enough," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) told reporters. "What we need is text.”

Be smart: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on the House Rules Committee to hold a hearing Thursday focused on the social spending package legislation — another sign of progress in the complicated and intertwined negotiations.

  • A remaining hurdle is securing a physical text of the Senate version of the social spending plan.
  • "What I need is text, some text," before the Rules Committee hearing, said Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), the committee's chairman.

Go deeper

Congress' chip-funding pause raises alarms

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Despite bipartisan support in the Senate, a plea by the Commerce Secretary and growing desperation from industry officials, Congress still can't get a key bill that funds the U.S. chip business over the finish line.

Why it matters: With the global chip shortage continuing to crimp the economy, the semiconductor industry has ramped up pressure for funding of U.S.-based manufacturing facilities as one remedy.

Vulnerable Democrats: Less Trump talk

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Vulnerable House Democrats are convinced they need to talk less about the man who helped them get elected: President Trump.

Why it matters: Democrats are privately concerned nationalizing the 2022 mid-terms with emotionally-charged issues — from Critical Race Theory to Donald Trump's role in the Jan. 6 insurrection — will hamstring their ability to sell the local benefits of President Biden's Build Back Better agenda.

Progressives to file resolution to strip Boebert's committee seats

Rep. Lauren Boebert walking through the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol earlier this month. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House progressives are planning to introduce a resolution on Wednesday to strip Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) of her committee assignments, according to a Democratic aide familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The move, which was first reported by the Washington Post, comes as progressives — anxious to see the right-wing firebrand face retribution for her recent comments — have grown frustrated by Democratic leadership's inaction on the issue.