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In a rare instance in which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was unable to do what she can to garner the vote, progressive House Democrats won a major victory last week by blocking bipartisan passage. infrastructure bill The Speaker promised that he would complete it through the Chamber by Thursday.

It was a surprise failure for the speaker, who has over the years been known for his iron grip on his caucus and ability to win the big vote by the narrowest margin.


It caused two of President Biden’s biggest agenda items to come to a screeching halt in Congress, and it represents a successful victory for Progressive Caucus president Representative Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash. held its members together against the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Other Democratic leaders were lashing out for it.

“I’ve never been so proud [the Progressive Caucus] As I am in this moment,” Jaipal said in a tweet Friday afternoon. “Last night, we stood strong for working families and stood up for corporate interests and lobbyists. Today we are fighting to fulfill the President’s entire agenda for the American people.”

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Progressives say they’ll pass infrastructure and reconciliation: ‘We’re going to get it done’

As leader of one of the largest caucuses in Congress – the Progressive Caucus has 96 members – Jayapal is in a position where she could wield significant power among long-standing congressional Democrats.

Meanwhile, 81-year-old Pelosi was left to fend for herself.

“There will be a vote today,” Pelosi said as she left the Capitol at 12:01 a.m. Friday. This could have been interpreted as a reference to the calendar day of Friday or the legislative day of Thursday, as the House did not go out of session on Thursday night, bleed on Friday night,

But there was no vote by the end of Friday, and the House left town without a vote, thus ending “Thursday”.

“The timing was interrupted two weeks ago when the prospect of a changed budget further accelerated the agreement. But the work is still ongoing,” Pelosi said in a letter to her Democratic aides on Saturday.

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“There were two dynamics at work: a commitment to a date reachable under the original budget agreement and a commitment not to bring the BIF to the floor until both the topline numbers and the implied policies and commitments in the Build Back Better Act were agreed upon by the House. And there are all stakeholders in the Senate that they support the agreement: criteria that are suggested by members,” Pelosi continued. “In honor of our colleagues who support the bills and out of recognition for the need for both, I will not bring the BIF to the floor for failing. Again, we will and will soon pass both bills. Our have the responsibility and the opportunity to do so.”

The speaker was dealt with a largely tough hand. He had to move two large bills onto a condensed timeline with almost no margin for error in the divided caucus. But the fact is that he didn’t get the job.

Capitol Hill watchers say last week’s moves show Pelosi no longer has the ability to control House Democrats with an iron hand.

“You have these big showdowns, you have these self-set deadlines. And then whatever happens, you get more sense from those deadlines,” James Wallner, R Street Institute’s Resident Senior Fellow for Governance, told Granthshala News. is where you stand.” . “Members start to moderate their positions a bit… and that will continue to happen and at a certain point… Schumer will put the law on the floor and he’ll basically dare Munchkin and Cinema to oppose this bill. “

“I wouldn’t say Pelosi lost, per se. If you think about Paul Ryan and John Boehner and how they managed the House, and they would lose votes on the floor. And what Pelosi did was pull the bill Vote on the bill or not because she’s going to lose. So she’s reserving the option of winning in the future,” Wallner said. “I think, it shows that progressives recognize their leverage and they believe that if they don’t use their leverage, if they don’t really maintain their credibility, they’re going to roll over.”

In fact, Wallner said, last week was a pivotal moment for progressives in the House Democratic caucus.

“It’s not a question of who’s at the top. I mean, you can have a situation where the establishment retains control of the House Democratic Party, but because progressives get excited, because they feel strong, They can operate the House differently.” said.

Despite the fact that Pelosi failed to follow through on his promise for a vote — and despite how ugly things looked for Democrats amid his inter-party wrangling — the door to passing President Biden’s agenda was actually Could be a little wider than last week.

Before last week, progressives were saying their hard floor for a reconciliation bill was $3.5 trillion. And before last week there was no discussion between the moderates and the leadership on what might happen in a reconciliation bill.

DEMS closes infrastructure vote after talks on reconciliation bill, exposing DEMS’ thin margins

But last week’s test sans Kirsten Cinema, D-Ariz., and Joe Manchin, DW.VA, were talking about a possible reconciliation framework with Senate leaders and the White House. And although Sinema has led progressives to attempt to “hold one piece of legislation hostage to another” and make “conflicting promises that all could not be kept”, it has yet to tank the reconciliation bill. is not reiterated for its threat if the infrastructure does not qualify.

And some progressives are keeping their minds open to a bill that cost close to $2 trillion, which Granthshala News reported is likely to be closer to the final price tag of the legislation.

House Progressive Caucus member Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., “We may push profits and have fewer years but ultimately the president is an honest broker. He’s going to bring all the stakeholders together and let me know about his decision.” trust.” ., said on “Granthshala News Sunday”.

“Getting down to 2, it’s something that I think is going to be quite difficult,” said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D.Y. msnbc Sunday. “There’s this case where we have these two holdouts in the Senate, that’s a conversation for us. But again that doesn’t mean reducing the scale of our investments. It could mean we say where. Let’s do a five-year infrastructure plan instead of a 10-year infrastructure plan.”

Also, with the passage of a stopgap measure to take care of highway funding by the end of October, Democrats gave themselves four more weeks to come to an agreement on reconciliation, which they hoped to find in just days last week. Were trying to.

The fact is it’s a better place than the Democrats last Monday. And now they still have time till the end of the month to settle the massive differences. It will not be easy. And nothing is guaranteed. But Pelosi said on Thursday that he is confident that patience and perseverance will help his victory in the end.

“I just tell you about the conversation. In the end, when you really have to wait,” Pelosi told reporters. “You can’t get tired. You can’t accept. That’s it, that’s the fun part.”

Granthshala News’ Jackie Heinrich, Jason Donner, Chad Pergram and Lori Krim contributed to this report.