Pelosi: House must pass 3 major pieces of spending legislation this week

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a letter to Democrats on Saturday that the coming week will be a “time of intensity,” as party leadership aims to take action on three major pieces of spending legislation in the days ahead.

“This week, we must pass a Continuing Resolution, Build Back Better Act and the BIF,” Pelosi said in a “Dear Colleague” letter Saturday.  

The speaker wrote in Saturday afternoon that Sept. 30 “is a date fraught with meaning.” The day marks the end of the fiscal year, after which the federal government is scheduled to run out of money if lawmakers fail to pass a continuing resolution to avert a shutdown.

The same date also marks when surface transportation programs are expected to expire.

At the same time, Pelosi said the lower chamber must also move quickly to pass a Senate-approved $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package and a $3.5 trillion social spending package essential to President Biden’s economic agenda.

“The next few days will be a time of intensity,” Pelosi wrote to her Democratic colleagues. “We must pass the BIF to avoid the expiration of the surface transportation funding on September 30. And we must stay on schedule to pass the reconciliation bill so that we can Build Back Better.” 

The letter was sent while the House Budget Committee carried out its markup of the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion social spending package. 

Democrats hope to pass the plan — which is expected to unlock funding for Medicare expansions, spending boosts for education, public housing and other party-backed priorities — using a process called reconciliation that will allow them to bypass the Senate legislative filibuster.

However, Democrats have struggled to remain united amid spending negotiations over the partisan package ahead of a planned vote on the smaller, physical infrastructure plan set for Monday.

House progressives have threatened to vote against the bipartisan deal unless the larger package receives a vote first, concerned about how many of the popular social spending items in the reconciliation would fare with their moderate colleagues if the smaller plan has already passed. 

It’s unclear whether the bipartisan infrastructure deal will have the necessary votes to pass the lower chamber on Monday, as House GOP leaders have called on their party members to vote against the plan in opposition to the larger package that has been advanced by Democrats. 

A failed vote on the bipartisan deal would only escalate already simmering tensions within the Democratic party, as moderates have vowed to vote against the reconciliation plan in the House if progressives tank the physical infrastructure plan. 

And Democrats can afford only three defections for the reconciliation plan in the House, which is expected to receive zero votes from Republicans. 

Tags Joe Biden Nancy Pelosi

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