Infrastructure bill: Democrats admit vote will not take place on Monday

The vote is expected to take place as Pelosi works to unite the Democratic Party’s disparate wings on both the infrastructure bill and a broader $ 3.5 trillion social and environmental package, all then that Congress work to avoid a disruption in government funding by Thursday and meet the debt limit. in October. Pelosi, along with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and senior White House officials, spent the weekend working to negotiate a deal on the social and environmental package.
So far, they have not been able to reach an agreement between progressive and moderate Democrats on a top number in the social and environmental bill or on a framework of programs contained in the plan. Pelosi pledged last month to meet Monday’s original deadline for the infrastructure bill, hoping to appease moderates who were reluctant to back the broader budget plan.
Biden spoke to lawmakers over the weekend about the way forward for his economic agenda, according to a White House official. Upon arriving at the White House on Sunday from Camp David, the president expressed optimism about the negotiations, but admitted: “It’s going to take the best part of the week, I think.” On Friday, Biden said the talks were at a “dead end.”

“Building on the progress of last week following the White House meetings and the announcement of income options resulting in the end of unsuccessful special giveaways to the rich and big business, the president said talked to members of the way forward, as well as senior White House officials, the Legislative Affairs team and Cabinet members, “said a White House official.” There was also a big work at the staff level.

“The engagement runs all weekend until Monday,” the official said, arguing, “It remains clear that there is a strong resolve in the caucuses behind the passage of these bills so that our economy is at the service of the middle class and not just those of the middle class.

Throughout Sunday, Democrats had signaled that the vote on the infrastructure bill would not take place on Monday.

Democratic Representative Pramila Jayapal, Leader of the House Progressives, told CNN’s “State of the Union” that there simply weren’t enough votes for the party to pass the infrastructure bill right now.

A key moderate, Rep. Josh Gottheimer, conceded that the vote would likely take place “early next week.”

And Pelosi admitted earlier on Sunday that she would not bring the measure for a vote knowing she would fail.

“We’ll bring the bill forward for consideration tomorrow, but, you know, I’m never going to introduce a bill that doesn’t have the votes,” Pelosi told ABC’s “This Week”.

House progressives have said they will not vote for the separate infrastructure package unless it is accompanied by a much larger social bill, dubbed by the administration the ‘Build Back Better’ plan. “.

But some moderates balked at the plan’s current size of $ 3.5 trillion, leaving heated negotiations to search for common ground. With the thinnest margins in both chambers, Democrats can afford to lose almost no party votes.

“The speaker is an incredibly good vote counter, and she knows exactly where her caucus is and we’ve been very clear about that,” Jayapal told CNN’s Jake Tapper, when asked about the vote scheduled for Monday. “The votes aren’t there. I don’t think she’s going to talk about it.”

Jayapal, the chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, has said for days that her members will not vote for the $ 1,000 billion bill without passing the $ 3.5 trillion package to implement the economic agenda of Biden. But his comments on Sunday are the clearest sign yet that progressive members of the House intend to carry out their threat hours before the scheduled vote.

Gottheimer, who co-chairs the Problem Solvers Caucus, told Tapper the House would bring the infrastructure bill for review before Monday’s deadline, but that a vote would not take place until Tuesday at the earliest. .

“The way these things work if you start debating it and it continues until Tuesday, I don’t think – I think we’re all reasonable people,” Gottheimer said.

Pelosi had also suggested that Monday’s deadline slipped before officially pushing it back.

“Let me just say we are going to pass the bill this week,” she said.

None of the Democrats offered much clarity on the broader negotiations over the broader social safety net plan, which would make major new investments in child care, healthcare, education and change. climate.

Pelosi said it was “obvious” that the final bill would be less than $ 3.5 trillion.

“Obviously with the negotiations there will have to be changes to this, and the sooner the better,” she said. “We will. The American people need this to happen.”

This story and the title were updated with additional developments on Sunday.

CNN’s Arlette Saenz and Melanie Zanona contributed to this report.

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