Speaker Biden, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer failed to thread the needle through the rough corners of their caucuses on a self-imposed (or “self-imposed) deadline. inflicted, “in the words of a House Democrat) to pass a principle core of their national agenda.
Barring some unseen dramatic change, there appear to be only two real options in the coming hours:
- Hold the planned vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill and watch it fail
- Pull the bill
The bottom line is that Biden and Pelosi, after days of feverish behind-the-scenes efforts, enter the day with no clear path to securing a majority in the planned vote on the bipartisan $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. . But the process is not over, this agenda is not dead, and there are still weeks, if not months, before negotiations, according to several White House officials and lawmakers.
Pelosi told CNN’s Manu Raju that the plan was still to put the infrastructure bill down. This followed a meeting with Biden and Schumer in the Oval Office.
But four days ago she said this on “This Week” on ABC:
“I never introduce a bill that does not have the votes.”
Where are things at the moment? The dynamics have not changed in recent weeks. In many ways, they have become more and more entrenched.
Progressive Democrats aren’t just planning to withhold their votes on the $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure bill unless they make progress on the second trillion dollar economic and climate package. They are asking for legislation. They want to know exactly what they’re getting in the biggest bill before they sign the moderates’ infrastructure plan. It’s called leverage, but it’s also called bringing Biden’s agenda to the brink.
“We cannot negotiate with ourselves,” Rep. Katie Porter, a progressive, told CNN. “People say, ‘Are you ready to negotiate with Senator Manchin? ” On what?”
Only two senators can provide this – Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. Neither have and are planning to do so, according to people who have spoken to both in the past 24 hours.
So things are frozen and likely will remain so until there is a public movement of the two moderate refractories.