The Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), comes to a meeting of the Democratic House of Representatives amid ongoing negotiations on budget and infrastructure laws in the US Capitol in Washington, USA, 24 August 2021.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
House Democrats on Tuesday pushed President Joe Biden’s economic plans after breaking a stalemate that threatened to untangle the party’s sprawling agenda.
In a 220-212 party-line vote, the chamber passed a budget resolution of $ 3.5 trillion and introduced a bipartisan infrastructure bill worth $ 1 trillion. The vote allows Democrats to draft and approve a massive Republican-free spending package, and puts the Senate-approved infrastructure plan on track for final approval in the House of Representatives.
The move includes a non-binding commitment to vote by September 27 on the Infrastructure Bill, which aims to appease nine Democratic Middle Democrats who urged the House of Representatives to review the bipartisan plan before it embarked on democratic budget dissolution. The vote also advances a comprehensive voting law that the Democrats intend to pass on Tuesday.
In a statement on Tuesday, House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, D-California said she is “committed to passing the bipartisan infrastructure bill by the 27th. She also stressed that she intended to pass a budget balancing bill that could pass the Senate – which means it might turn out to be smaller than the House progressives want.
The opposition of the nine negative Democrats threatened an agenda that supporters say will boost the economy and provide a lifeline to working class households. Democratic leaders have described the budget as the largest addition to the American social safety net in decades and the infrastructure bill as an overdue refresh to transportation and utilities.
“The end result, in my opinion, is that we are one step closer to truly investing in the American people, positioning our economy for long-term growth and building an America that outperforms the rest of the world,” said Biden on Tuesday after the vote . “My goal is to build a bottom-up and center-up economy, not just top-down.”
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Pelosi has pushed for the bipartisan and democratic plans to be passed simultaneously to ensure that centrists and progressives support both measures. The nine Democrats withheld their support, leaving Pelosi and her top MPs desperate to find a way to save the party’s economic plans.
They all voted with their party on Tuesday. In a post-vote statement, the Democrats, led by Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, said their deal with party leaders “does what we set out to do: secure a separate voice for the bipartisan infrastructure bill, it to the To send to the President’s desk, and then consider the reconciliation package separately. “
The vote on the promotion of the measures maintains the party’s hopes of pushing through massive economic proposals this year. There are still several hurdles that the Democrats have to overcome – and draft a budget that can be supported by spending centrists and progressives alike – to get the proposals through a tightly divided Congress.
To underscore the challenges ahead, House leaders are under pressure to write and pass the reconciliation plan before approving the infrastructure bill – which Pelosi promised in about a month. In a statement on Tuesday, Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., Chair of the Progressive Caucus of Congress said the two proposals were “integrally linked and we will only vote for the Infrastructure Bill after the Reconciliation Bill is passed”.
The Democrats in the Senate and House of Representatives hope to be able to write their bill to strengthen social security and invest in climate policy in the coming weeks. The budget measure calls for the expansion of Medicare, childcare and paid vacation, the expansion of the increased household tax credits passed last year, the creation of a universal Pre-K and the creation of incentives for green energy adoption.
While the resolution allows for up to $ 3.5 trillion in spending, centrists will likely seek to bring the price down.
Many Republicans have backed the bipartisan infrastructure bill, saying it will shake the economy. But they have opposed the trillion dollar spending proposed by the Democrats – and the corporate and wealthy individual tax hikes with whom they hope to pay for it.
The GOP has also argued that the Democratic plan would increase inflation, which White House officials have denied.
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