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Nancy Pelosi gave her warring party another month to accept a $ 1.2 million infrastructure bill after the party did not agree on Joe Biden’s spending plans, despite a week of fierce negotiations over Capitol Hill.
The House of Representatives Democratic speaker wrote to Democratic congressmen on Saturday morning, urging them to pass the dual bill, which is a central part of the U.S. president’s legislative agenda.
Members of the House on Friday approved an emergency measure to continue funding federal road programs for another 30 days. The measure would be put to a vote in the Senate on Saturday to prevent 3,500 federal transportation workers from being drafted immediately.
But the Democrats have not yet agreed on whether to accept the larger infrastructure measure – something Pelosi said on Saturday that she wanted to happen before the end of the month.
“There is a deadline of October 31 for approval for surface transport, after a critical extension of 30 days passed last night,” she wrote. ‘We need the [infrastructure bill] ahead of time – the sooner, the better, to get the job there. ”
Joe Biden has put the infrastructure bill at the heart of his domestic agenda, along with a separate $ 3.5 million package to increase spending on social welfare, which Republicans can stop but only succeed with democratic support.
Progressive parties say they will not pass the infrastructure measure without also accepting the larger spending bill. But more conservative Democrats in the Senate say they will not support that much extra spending, and want to continue with the infrastructure package.
Biden went to Capitol Hill on Friday in an attempt to reach an agreement between the two parties. At the end of the day, he and Pelosi decided not to vote on the infrastructure bill without an agreement on the larger spending package, which Biden will apparently have to concede.
The decision to bring votes on the two measures was a victory for the left of her party, which insisted that the two bills come together and deal with anger from the right.
Kyrsten Cinema, one of two important moderate swing voices in the Senate, called the move “inexcusable and deeply disappointing”.
She added in a statement on Saturday: “In the course of this year, democratic leaders have made conflicting promises that not everyone can keep – and have sometimes pretended that differences of opinion within our party do not exist, even if there were none. differences of opinion were repeatedly made clear directly and publicly. ”
Her comments reflect those made by Josh Gottheimer, the Democratic representative of New Jersey, on Friday. Gottheimer said in a statement: “A small-left faction of the House of Representatives is undermining the agreement and blocking a critical vote on the president’s historic bill on dual infrastructure.
Biden on Saturday tried to cool the tension in his own party. ‘Everyone is frustrated. It’s part of the government – to be frustrated. ”
Referring to himself in the third person, he added: “Biden is going to work like hell to make sure we both pass, and I think we will pass them.”