House Speaker Nancy Pelosi drew up the white flag Friday evening, admitting that “more time is needed” to pass a $1 trillion infrastructure bill that is one of the pillars of President Biden’s agenda, after previously vowing to pass the measure this week.
While Pelosi had promised moderate House Democrats the infrastructure bill would be on the floor, progressives threatened to sink it unless it was coupled with a $3.5 trillion spending measure, known as the Build Back Better Act, that includes a variety of social welfare programs.
Republicans are united against the larger bill, and Senate Democratic moderates Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona refused to support $3.5 trillion in new spending, meaning the bill could not pass the Senate. So it was no use for Pelosi to pass it in the House. And she was forced to cave on the infrastructure bill because progressives insisted the other measure be must be considered by the House too or they’d vote against the infrastructure bill.
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