Pelosi vows no vote on bipartisan deal without Senate action on reconciliation
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday said the House will not vote on a bipartisan infrastructure deal until the Senate also passes a larger package of Democratic priorities that can evade a GOP filibuster.
Pelosi’s remarks are meant to assuage progressives nervous that the bipartisan deal could negate efforts to approve a much larger package of priorities through special budget rules in the Senate that would allow the measure to avoid a GOP filibuster.
“Let me be really clear on this: we will not take up a bill in the House until the Senate passes the bipartisan bill and a reconciliation bill. If there is no bipartisan bill, then we’ll just go when the Senate passes a reconciliation bill,” Pelosi said at a press conference in the Capitol.
“I’m very optimistic that it will happen. And I don’t want to say allay the fears — I don’t think they’re fears, they’re just advocating. And God bless them for doing that. But we’re not going down the path unless we all go down the path together,” Pelosi added.
A group of bipartisan senators is meeting with President Biden later Thursday after agreeing to an infrastructure framework with White House officials late Wednesday.
According to senators involved in the negotiations, the proposal includes about $579 billion in new spending for a total of $974 billion over five years or $1.2 trillion over eight years.
“I’m hopeful that we would have a bipartisan bill. I think it would be really important to demonstrate the bipartisanship that has always been a hallmark of our infrastructure legislation,” Pelosi said.
Assuming Biden signs off on the bipartisan framework, senators will then be tasked with rounding up 60 votes in both parties to advance it. The bipartisan group currently includes 21 senators, and would need to secure support from progressives as well as Republicans.
And two key Democratic centrists who’ve been pushing for a bipartisan plan, Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), remain cagey about whether they will back the reconciliation proposal.
“I’ll be looking at everything,” Manchin told reporters on Thursday.