Pelosi wants Biden infrastructure bill done by August

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
Greg Nash
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that the Democrats’ summer push for infrastructure and jobs legislation will likely be split into two separate bills, with a goal of wrapping up both before Congress’s August recess.

President Biden last week introduced the contours of his ambitious infrastructure proposal, which features traditional projects like roads, bridges and public transit. But he’s also vowing additional — but nontraditional — items under the same infrastructure title, which are expected to include provisions like child care, elder care and family tax credits.

“These things are related. If you’re going to build the infrastructure, you have to have workforce development,” Pelosi said Thursday, defending the strategy.

Democrats have been vague about how those pieces would fit together as the debate evolves, with some suggesting party leaders should simply lump everything together into an enormous package and move it to Biden’s desk using a procedural gambit, known as reconciliation, that would prevent Senate Republicans from blocking it with a filibuster.

Yet Pelosi says she’s still holding out hope for bipartisan support — at least on the physical infrastructure portion of the package — and predicted Thursday that Democrats will split the legislation into two pieces.

“I think we will have two bills,” she told reporters on a press call. “We’re hoping that we can do — especially [the] infrastructure bill — with [bipartisan support]. … If we have to go to reconciliation, that’s a lever, but I hope it’s not something that we’ll need to do.”

Pelosi also laid out a tentative timeline, saying Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), chairman of the House Transportation Committee, is poised to pass much of the infrastructure agenda through his panel in May. That, she said, should allow the House to send the package to the Senate by July 4. But whether that includes the help for families remains to be seen.

“I would hope that our part in the House would be largely done before the Fourth of July,” she said. “Whether the whole package would be done then we just don’t know. But as some had suggested, we want to do it before the August break.”

Tags Infrastructure Joe Biden Nancy Pelosi Peter DeFazio
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