A group of moderate House Democrats is calling on Congress in a new op-ed to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill without coupling it to what they call the "largely undefined" reconciliation package.
"The challenge we face right now is that there is a standoff with some of our colleagues who have decided to hold the infrastructure bill hostage for months, or kill it altogether, if they don’t get what they want in the next bill — a largely undefined $3.5 trillion reconciliation package," the so-called Moderate Nine wrote in The Washington Post. "While we have concerns about the level of spending and potential revenue raisers, we are open to immediate consideration of that package."
"But we are firmly opposed to holding the president’s infrastructure legislation hostage to reconciliation, risking its passage and the bipartisan support behind it," Democratic Reps. Carolyn Bourdeaux (Ga.), Ed CaseEdward (Ed) CaseMORE (Hawaii), Jim CostaJames (Jim) Manuel CostaBiden leaves meeting saying 'it doesn't matter' when bill is passed LIVE COVERAGE: Biden tries to unify divided House WHIP LIST: How House Democrats, Republicans say they'll vote on infrastructure bill MORE (Calif.), Henry Cuellar (Texas), Jared Golden (Maine), Vicente Gonzalez (Texas), Josh GottheimerJoshua (Josh) GottheimerModerates split over climate plans in Democrats' spending package Bleak midterm outlook shadows bitter Democratic battle Democrats downplay deadlines on Biden's broad spending plan MORE (N.J.), Kurt SchraderWalter (Kurt) Kurt SchraderHouse passes bills to secure telecommunications infrastructure Democrats weigh changes to drug pricing measure to win over moderates Internal battles heat up over Biden agenda MORE (Ore.) and Filemon VelaFilemon Bartolome VelaTwo House Democrats to retire ahead of challenging midterms Two senior House Democrats to retire Democratic retirements could make a tough midterm year even worse MORE (Texas), said.
The moderate lawmakers argued that linking the infrastructure bill to the passage of the reconciliation bill is unnecessary, stating that the bipartisan measure can be passed now and other issues important to their party can be considered later. Led by Gottheimer, they have recently threatened to block the $3.5 trillion budget resolution that is being used as a vehicle to pass President BidenJoe BidenRand Paul calls for Fauci's firing over 'lack of judgment' Dems look to keep tax on billionaires in spending bill Six big off-year elections you might be missing MORE's spending plan without Republican support.
"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," they wrote in the Post. "Let’s take the win for American workers, and the nation, and pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill."
House Democrats are returning to Washington on Monday, interrupting their summer recess in order to advance Biden's agenda as moderate and progressive Democrats spar over the political maneuvers being played out in the House. Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDems look to keep tax on billionaires in spending bill Sunday shows - Democrats' spending plan in the spotlight Pelosi won't say if she'll run for reelection in 2022 MORE (D-Calif.) has thus far remained firm in her decision to hold off the infrastructure bill until a budget resolution is passed.