House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has left many Democrats concerned after she said that the passage of the trillion-dollar infrastructure bill cannot wait for President Biden’s safety net bill.
Progressive Democrats in Congress have pushed for a reconciliation bill that would invest trillions of dollars into a much-needed social safety net. This includes funds for programs that could help a vast number of families, like universal pre-K, investments in HBCUs, affordable childcare, and expanded free school meals. These are timely investments given the financial insecurity that has faced many households amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Pelosi’s latest stance is a change of course, given that she stated in June that there wouldn’t be any vote on the infrastructure bill until Senate voted on the multi-trillion-dollar safety net bill.
According to NBC News Pelosi stated that things have changed, which means her approach has to as well.
“I told all of you that we wouldn’t go on to the [infrastructure bill until] we had the reconciliation bill passed by the Senate. We were right on schedule to do all of that, until 10 days ago, a week ago, when I heard the news that this number had to come down,” she said.
A vote on the infrastructure bill could happen as soon as Thursday, however two Democratic senators have stated that they believe Pelosi will cancel the vote, due to the possibility that she may not have enough votes to get it passed, The Hill reported.
Many Progressive House Democrats have vowed to vote down the bill if a vote were to take place this week before the safety net bill is complete.
Some Democrats fear that if the infrastructure bill were to pass before the safety net bill has been presented then chances are high that the safety net bill may not survive.
One of the two senators stated, “’Nancy will pull it. We’re pretty sure she won’t put it up for a vote. She’ll meet with the moderates and she’ll say, ‘Listen, I don’t put these things up when the votes aren’t there. It doesn’t help your cause to see it fail, it doesn’t help the president to see it fail.’”