Centrist Democrats go after Pelosi over delayed infrastructure vote: ‘Deeply regrettable’
Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) and Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) went after Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) late Friday for not bringing a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package to the floor for a vote this week, despite past assurances made to party moderates demanding as much.
Both lawmakers took aim at Pelosi for again pushing back a vote on the package, which has already passed the Senate, as House progressives have threatened to withhold support for the bill until the chamber passes a multitrillion-dollar social benefits package essential to President Biden’s domestic agenda.
Gottheimer in a statement called the move “deeply regrettable,” and said Pelosi breached what he called a “firm, public commitment” to congressional members to vote on the bipartisan bill this week after she previously committed to take up the deal in the last week of September.
Pelosi struck the agreement in August after a Gottheimer-led group of moderate Democrats revolted against leadership plans to delay passage of the deal, as she moved to set up a vote on a budget resolution for the larger social spending plan.
“Along with a group of members, I’ve been working around-the-clock to pass the bipartisan bill, legislation we held craft back in April with my senate colleagues,” Gottheimer wrote. “But a small far-left faction of the House of Representatives undermined that agreement and blocked a critical vote on the president’s historic bipartisan infrastructure bill.”
The lawmaker is referring to a group of House progressives that have vowed to vote against the package if the larger social spending plan isn’t passed first, concerned their colleagues will scale back the partisan bill if the physical infrastructure deal is already passed.
In a statement, Murphy, a co-chair of the Blue Dog Coalition, said she was “profoundly disappointed and disillusioned” after the vote was delayed again, while also knocking what she referred to as a “misguided effort” by some of her colleagues to “gain ‘leverage’ over their fellow Democrats.”
“My position has been clear from day one. I support passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill,” she said, while also adding she supports passage of the larger social spending plan “that is fiscally disciplined, and that prioritizes measures to combat climate change.”
“There is no—zero—linkage between these two bills in my mind. I will continue to assess each bill on its own merits and to cast my vote accordingly,” she said.
“No member of Congress, and certainly no member of my own party, has the slightest leverage over my vote,” the congresswoman added. “I will do what I believe is in the best interest of my constituents and my country, and what comports with my conscience.”
Pelosi’s office declined a request for comment from The Hill.
This story was updated on Oct. 2 at 9:43 a.m.
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