Progressives leave Black Caucus leader waiting outside meeting
Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), head of the Congressional Black Caucus, was left waiting outside a meeting of the Congressional Progressive Caucus on Friday night as Democrats remained locked in a marathon debate over provisions of their mammoth social spending package.
Beatty, who’s joined Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in pushing for a stand-alone vote on the infrastructure bill passed by the Senate, said neither the Speaker nor President Biden, with whom she spoke earlier Friday, asked her to visit the progressives in an effort to change minds.
“I asked if I could come here,” she said.
Beatty said House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) had come to her in the morning and together they arrived at the plan to vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the rule for the social spending package — the same strategy the progressives are now revolting against.
She acknowledged that it might not have been the best strategy but said it was way to get the ball rolling after weeks of stalemate.
Beatty said it’s unclear if there will be a vote Friday on either bill. But she predicted Pelosi won’t bring anything to the floor without the votes to pass it.
“If we call for a vote on infrastructure, then it will pass,” she said.
Asked if the progressives were going to let her into the meeting, Beatty said only, “I guess I’ll know when they come to the door.”
At one point, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), a member of both the Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Progressive Caucus, left the meeting, came into the hallway and gave Beatty a hug. Omar then went back inside.
Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) escorted Beatty into the meeting shortly after 8 p.m.
Updated at 8:15 p.m.