The White House says it will need more time to “finish the work” on a $550 billion bipartisan infrastructure bill after the House decided not to hold a vote on the legislation.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement, “The President is grateful to Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer for their extraordinary leadership, and to Members from across the Democratic Caucus who have worked so hard the past few days to try to reach an agreement on how to proceed on the Infrastructure Bill and the Build Back Better plan.”
She added, “A great deal of progress has been made this week, and we are closer to an agreement than ever. But we are not there yet, and so, we will need some additional time to finish the work, starting tomorrow morning first thing.”
Acknowledging Democrats do have some differences, Psaki explained, “We share common goals of creating good union jobs, building a clean energy future, cutting taxes for working families and small businesses, helping to give those families breathing room on basic expenses—and doing it without adding to the deficit, by making those at the top pay their fair share.”
On Thursday, the House postponed the vote after members within the Democratic Party were unable to reach an agreement.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reportedly spent hours trying to work out a deal but eventually left the Capitol. Just after midnight she said, “There will be a vote today,” adding, “We’re not trillions of dollars apart.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) told reporters the bill should be “defeated” and voiced his opposition to the effort.
“It is an absurd way to do business, to be negotiating a multi trillion dollar bill a few minutes before a major vote with virtually nobody knowing what’s going on. That’s unacceptable,” Sanders said.
Sanders: “It is an absurd way to do business, to be negotiating a multi trillion dollar bill a few minutes before a major vote with virtually nobody knowing what's going on. That's unacceptable.”
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) October 1, 2021
Several progressives have vowed to vote against the infrastructure bill if it comes before a larger $3.5 trillion spending package.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the chair of the House Progressive Caucus, told CNN’s Manu Raju she is certain her colleagues will not give into a vote on an infrastructure bill without the larger spending package.
“I have never seen our caucus so strong. And I’m a very good vote counter, also, maybe not quite as good as Nancy Pelosi sometimes, but I’m excellent,” Jayapal said.
Pramila Jayapal, head of progressive caucus, told me she's certain her rank-and-file won't break ranks to back infrastructure. "I have never seen our caucus so strong. And I’m a very good vote counter, also, maybe not quite as good as Nancy Pelosi sometimes, but I’m excellent."
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) September 30, 2021
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