Progressive groups target moderate Democrats over push to block budget resolution

Greg Nash

Progressive groups on Monday launched a six-figure ad campaign criticizing nine moderate House Democrats over their effort to block the party’s $3.5 trillion budget resolution in order to force a vote on the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill.

The Working Families Party, Indivisible Project, Sunrise Movement and Organize For Justice, a sister organization of the Justice Democrats, paid for the digital and TV ads, which are running in the lawmakers’ home districts.

“These nine conservative Democrats are sabotaging Biden’s agenda because it would make billionaires and corporations pay their fair share,” the ads tell viewers.

The group of Democrats consists of Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), Carolyn Bourdeaux (Ga.), Jared Golden (Maine), Ed Case (Hawaii), Jim Costa (Calif.), Kurt Schrader (Ore.), Filemon Vela (Texas), Henry Cuellar (Texas) and Vicente Gonzalez (Texas). 

In a Monday op-ed, the lawmakers doubled down on their stance that the House send the bipartisan infrastructure bill to President Biden’s desk before considering the budget resolution that would set the stage for Democrats’ larger reconciliation package. 

“You don’t hold up a major priority of the country, and millions of jobs, as some form of leverage. The infrastructure bill is not a political football,” the group of House Democrats wrote in The Washington Post. 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), however, has insisted that the two bills must be passed together, and the White House has urged every House Democrat to vote for the budget resolution this week. 

The progressive groups’ new campaign is meant to counter recent ads from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and business-backed bipartisan group No Labels that praise the moderate lawmakers for their push to prioritize the infrastructure bill. 

Business groups support the infrastructure bill, but oppose the larger Democratic spending package that would be paid for with corporate tax hikes. Business lobbyists believe they can defeat or water down the reconciliation plan if the infrastructure bill has already been signed into law.

The bipartisan infrastructure bill invests primarily in roads, bridges, water and broadband, while the reconciliation package would spend far more on Democratic priorities such as climate and child care. 

“Americans have a right to know whether their representatives are putting corporate profits ahead of childcare and preschool, climate defense, and creating good-paying jobs,” Natalia Salgado, director of federal affairs at the Working Families Party, said in a statement on Monday.

The House is expected to vote on the budget resolution early this week, setting up a showdown between Pelosi and the moderate Democrats.

Tags Ed Case Filemon Vela Indivisible Project Infrastructure Jim Costa Joe Biden Josh Gottheimer Justice Democrats Kurt Schrader Nancy Pelosi Reconciliation Sunrise Movement and Organize For Justice tax hikes Working Families Party

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