Pelosi presses moderate Democrats amid budget standoff

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) makes a statement during an enrollment ceremony on Wednesday, August 4, 2021 for H.R. 3325 which gives a Congressional Gold Medals to the U.S. Capitol Police for their service on Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
Greg Nash

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday pressed members of her party to move forward on a $3.5 trillion budget bill amid a standoff with moderate Democrats who want to first vote on the $1 trillion infrastructure package.

“Today, President Biden endorsed the House Rule which will allow us to consider the budget resolution, H.R. 4 and the bipartisan infrastructure bill next week,” Pelosi said at the beginning of the “Dear Colleague” letter written to Democrats.

“The budget resolution is the key to unlocking the 51-vote privilege of the reconciliation path for our transformative Build Back Better bill,” she added.

Nine moderate Democrats have banded together to go against Democratic leadership, threatening to block the budget resolution if the bipartisan infrastructure deal is not passed first.

“With the livelihoods of hardworking American families at stake, we simply can’t afford months of unnecessary delays and risk squandering this once-in-a-century, bipartisan infrastructure package,” Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), who is leading the group of moderates, told Pelosi last week. “It’s time to get shovels in the ground and people to work.”

Pelosi wrote in her letter on Tuesday that “any delay in passing the budget resolution could threaten our ability to pass this essential legislation through reconciliation.”

The Democrats need to move forward “united” to pass a motion to move the budget resolution forward on Aug. 23 so they can “deliver historic progress.”

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) pushed colleagues on a private call Tuesday to vote for the infrastructure deal, budget resolution and voting rights legislation to move forward, 

“My premise is, we’re going to do ‘all of the above.’ It’s clear from the Senate, the House and the White House that reconciliation would be part of that ‘all of the above’ to realize the ‘Build Back Better’ agenda. I hope all will vote for the rule on Monday night,” Hoyer said, a source on the call stated.

Pelosi stressed all three bills not moving forward could threaten “the once-in-a-generation opportunity” to advance progressive legislation. 

Tags bipartisan infrastructure bill budget resolution Joe Biden Josh Gottheimer Nancy Pelosi Reconciliation Steny Hoyer
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