As we get late into Friday night, it appears that House Democrats are closing in on a deal that would pass the infrastructure bill while moving the ball forward on President Biden’s multi-trillion dollar spending bill.
Democrats have convinced themselves that, far from being a rejection of their leftward lurch, the Virginia elections were actually an indication that they urgently need to pass Biden’s sweeping agenda so they would have something to run on.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desperation to pass the measure today has run into a series of hurdles. A small group of Democrats didn’t want to vote for Biden’s social spending bill without a Congressional Budget Office score, while progressives once again dug in and said they didn’t want to vote for the infrastructure bill without assurances that the social welfare bill would pass the House.
Yet now, Jake Sherman reports:
from me and @bresreports:
House progs and moderates are on the brink of an agreement that could allow for two votes tonight: BBB rule and BIF
deal would commit mods to voting for BBB if the score checks out
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) November 6, 2021
Translated into English, it appears where this is heading is that progressives will agree to provide the votes for the infrastructure bill and the less liberal members will agree to vote for what’s known as the rule, which is essentially something that dictates the parameters for debate before eventually passing the Build Back Better social welfare bill itself. The Democratic holdouts will likely commit to back the social welfare bill once the CBO confirms it is deficit neutral.
Given that the Democrats know how to game the CBO and are willing to raise taxes, it is likely that they will be able to achieve that threshold, clearing passage before Thanksgiving. Though, as I have written, more spending is still reckless, whether or not it’s paid for. And as Senator Joe Manchin has said, the current frame work is filled with “budget gimmicks” and “shell games.”
Speaking of Manchin. It’s important to note that whatever passes the House will still have to pass the Senate, where Manchin has already said he is in no rush to pass anything. Furthermore, with his pet infrastructure already signed into law, progressives will no longer have any leverage over him. Should he force Democrats to make additional changes to the bill, the House and Senate would have to go into conference and reconcile both versions, which would then have to clear both chambers again.
So, they still have a number of hurdles to get through. But it appears they will make some progress tonight.
We will know soon enough.
Update: Here is the promised statement from the hold outs:
Today, Representatives Ed Case (HI-1), Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), Stephanie Murphy (FL-7), Kathleen Rice (NY-4), Kurt Schrader (OR-5) released the following statement: pic.twitter.com/WBAJW2V03h
— Rep Josh Gottheimer (@RepJoshG) November 6, 2021
It appears that the squad itself is lining up against the bill — and if all four of them vote against the bill, it will die without Republican support.
However, there are a number of wobbly Republicans who still back the bill. The question is whether they would be willing to provide Pelosi with the margin to get the bill across the finish line. If so, there should be hell to pay.
Here is the statement from progressives.
Jayapal says progressives taking the deal
“…progressives will advance the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the House rule on Build Back Better tonight.” pic.twitter.com/95W0PdXhQF
— Sam Brodey (@sambrodey) November 6, 2021
Also, a vote has been called for 10:52, which is a sign Pelosi believes she has the votes.