Pelosi sidesteps progressives’ March 1 deadline for Build Back Better
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Friday that she does not “subscribe to any particular date” to get the Democrats’ social spending bill passed, sidestepping a March 1 deadline pushed for by progressives.
Speaking at an infrastructure event at the San Francisco International Airport, the speaker called progressives’ March 1 timetable “an aspiration,” but noted that the House has other pieces of legislation that it needs to take up, including the omnibus bill and CHIPS Act.
“We will pass the bill when we have the votes to pass the bill, and we cannot stop pressing for that,” Pelosi said.
“We have a number of pieces of legislation that we’re working on, but the [Build Back Better] is absolutely essential. I hope that they’re right. I don’t subscribe to any particular date,” Pelosi added of progressives’ sought-after deadline.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki similarly sidestepped a question regarding progressives’ calls to have President Biden’s Build Back Better legislation passed by March.
“No, we have not set a deadline. No,” Psaki said on Wednesday.
Pelosi’s remarks are an acknowledgement that Democrats still do not have the votes needed to pass their legislation, which is full of Democratic priorities.
While the House in early November advanced the social spending bill, it stalled in the Senate after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) in December surprised Democratic colleagues and the White House by announcing that he would not be voting for the Build Back Better bill.
Since then, the president has acknowledged that the legislation will likely have to be broken up and that not all of what Democrats want will be able to make it into the bill.
Still, Congressional Progressive Caucus chair Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and others are urging the Senate and White House not to let the legislation languish too long.
“Public housing residents have endured devastating fires, the cost of insulin and other prescription drugs continue to crush working people, and parents are desperate for child care support. This desperately needed relief cannot be delayed any longer,” she said in a statement on Thursday.
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