Nancy Pelosi pulled a vote on the infrastructure bill amid progressive opposition.
Biden unveiled a $1.75 trillion social-spending framework on Thursday, cutting many proposals.
Progressives have remained adamant they will not vote for infrastructure until they approve of the social-spending reconciliation bill.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pulled the plug on a Thursday vote for President Joe Biden’s $550 billion infrastructure bill amid progressive resistance to approve it without a larger $1.75 trillion social spending bill being ready.
“There is too much at stake for working families and our communities to settle for something that can be later misunderstood, amended or abandoned altogether,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said in a statement. “That is why dozens of our members insist on keeping both bills linked and cannot vote only for one without until they can be voted on altogether.”
It leaves Biden empty-handed as he goes abroad to a major climate summit. The White House had hoped he could tout some of the infrastructure bill’s climate initiatives to demonstrate America was serious in its efforts to mitigate the climate emergency.
Pelosi said during a press conference Thursday afternoon that the nearly 2,000 pages of text for the bill is up and ready for review, but the next step in the process will be holding a hearing for lawmakers to review and negotiate the text.
In June, Biden reached a deal with the Senate on a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, but since then, progressive lawmakers in the House have remained adamant they will not vote for an infrastructure bill unless a social-spending bill is passed at the same time. The latter will be passed through a process called reconciliation, which allows the Democratic House to bypass Republicans and approve a bill with a simple majority vote.
After releasing his plan, the president visited Capitol Hill on Thursday to meet privately with House Democrats. He urged them to move ahead with both plans before departing for a climate summit at Glasgow.
“We badly need a vote on both of these measures,” Biden said, per a person familiar with his remarks. “I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that the House and Senate majorities and my presidency will be determined by what happens in the next week.”
Jayapal sought to highlight progress and said there has been “tremendous momentum” on the negotiations for the safety net bill.
“There has been more negotiation that has happened in the last three weeks than has happened in the last many months,” Jayapal told MSNBC.
Pelosi also noted there are things in Biden’s framework she would like to see changed, like an inclusion of a paid leave program. Twelve weeks of paid family and medical leave did not make the cut, along with other priorities like free community college and an extended five-year child tax credit.
As Insider reported, the only investment that did not get cut was $555 billion for the climate – the largest investment in the bill.
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