‘Squad’ Democrats fight back as moderates hold $ 3.5 billion infrastructure vote spending plan hostage

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House “team” Democrats fired back at their moderate colleagues on Friday after nine of them said they would not vote to advance their party’s $ 3.5 trillion budget resolution as long as the bipartite infrastructure bill will not have been enacted.

“You are not a ‘moderate’ Democrat if you vote against decent-paying jobs, paid vacation, child care, health care and a habitable planet for American families,” said Representative Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.

“Stop calling conservatives ‘moderate’,” tweeted Mondaire Jones Rep. DN.Y. Friday morning.

The moderates’ letter on Friday followed a similar earlier this week from members of the Progressive House caucus, but with a opposing demand. Progressives have said they will not vote for the infrastructure bill until the Senate produces a reconciliation bill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Took the same position.

THE MODERATE DEMS DEFEATS PELOSI AND “SQUAD”, BLOCKS THE EXPENDITURE PLAN BY 3.5 T $ UNTIL THE INFRASTRUCTURE PASSES

These competing positions put the chamber at a standstill, with two major elements of President Biden’s economic agenda at risk in a chicken game within the party.

“Some have suggested that we suspend consideration of the Senate infrastructure bill for months – until the reconciliation process is complete. We disagree,” the group of nine said. moderate Democrats in the letter. “With the livelihoods of hard-working American families, we simply cannot afford months of unnecessary delays and risk wasting this unique bipartisan infrastructure package in a century.”

The group added: “We will not consider voting for a budget resolution until the bipartisan infrastructure investment and jobs law is passed by the House and proclaimed into law.”

A senior Democrat official, meanwhile, told Fox News that the request of the nine moderates was unrealistic because too many Democrats oppose the advance of infrastructure before the Senate produces a reconciliation bill.

“There are not enough votes to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill this month,” the aide said. “It’s 9. There are dozens and dozens who will vote against the BIF unless it is after the Senate passes reconciliation.”

The nine Democrats who signed the letter are Reps Josh Gottheimer, DN.J .; Jared Golden, D-Maine .; Carolyn Bourdeaux, D-Ga .; Filemon Vela, D-Texas; Henry Cuellar, D-Texas; Vicente Gonzalez, D-Texas; Ed Case, D-Hawaii; Jim Costa, D-California; and Kurt Schrader, D-Ore.

SCHUMER REACTS TO MANCHIN’S “SERIOUS CONCERNS” ABOUT THE $ 3.5T DEMS EXPENDITURE PLAN: “WE MUST COME TOGETHER”

Their number may not be as large as the “dozens” of others who, according to the senior Democratic aide, will not vote for infrastructure without a reconciliation victory in hand. But these Democrats – with Republicans ready to universally oppose reconciliation – have the voices to kill it if they hold on.

There are currently 220 Democrats, 212 Republicans and three vacancies in the House. This means Democrats can only lose three votes on a bill for it to be successful.

Other progressives have also hit back at moderates who have said they will oppose, especially Cuellar’s main opponent, Jessica Cisneros. She is supported by Justice Democrats, a group linked to Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and has helped elect several members of the growing “Squad”.

“We need to embrace a robust infrastructure package that delivers results for working families in jobs, immigration, healthcare and a liveable planet,” she said. “Henry Cuellar stands in the way. It’s time for a change.”

Rep. Jamaal Bowman, DN.Y., responded to the reports with a GIF signaling his apparent disapproval of the threat from moderates.

Even with the president’s agenda seemingly more in jeopardy than at any other time this summer, the administration on Friday doubled its stance that it remains out of the party debate on how to get the agenda passed.

“Just as Senate Democrats have come together to advance the two key elements of the President’s economic agenda – the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the budget resolution that forms the framework for our Build Back Better plan – we are confident that House Democrats will do the same, “White said House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.

She added: “Both are essential, and we are working closely with President Pelosi and the leadership to bring them both to the President’s office.”

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But Pelosi made it clear this week that her approach – through reconciliation and then infrastructure – is the path she plans to take.

“I’m not a freelance writer. It’s the consensus,” she said on a caucus call, according to a familiar source. “The votes in the House and the Senate depend on whether we have both bills.”

Pelosi also told fellow Democrats this week that the budget resolution should pass “without drama” – a demand that exploded on Friday morning.

Jacqui Heinrich of Fox News contributed to this report.



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