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Bad But Expected News - Progressives Cave In and Pass Infrastructure Bill

After months of wrangling, Pelosi finally corralled enough House Progressives to pass the infrastructure bill stand alone.
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Infrastructure Bill Passes

Bad But Expected News

Under intense pressure, the Progressive Caucus finally ditched their demand that Build Back Better had to pass before they would pass the infrastructure bill.

House Passes Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

CNN reports House Passes Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

GOP Reps. John Katko, Don Bacon, Jeff Van Drew, Don Young, Fred Upton, Adam Kinzinger, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, Brian Fitzpatrick, Tom Reed, Andrew Garbarino, Nicole Malliotakis, David McKinley, and Chris Smith of New Jersey, voted with Democrats to pass the bill.

Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Cori Bush, Jamaal Bowman, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib voted against their party in opposition to the bill.

\When Democrats hit the number of 218 votes, which was enough to pass the bill, many Democrats stood up and clapped. A large group of Democrats huddled around House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, giving her fist bumps and high fives.

The legislation passed the Senate in August, but stalled in the House as Democrats tried to negotiate a deal on a separate $1.9 trillion economic package, another key component of Biden’s agenda that many Democrats had tied to the fate of the infrastructure bill. 

How We Got Here

Going into Friday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said it was her intention to vote on final passage of the infrastructure bill and the social spending bill known as Build Back Better. But, Friday morning it was clear that a group of House moderates were not ready to support the final passage of Build Back Better for a variety of reasons.

To accommodate that group, after hours of inaction, Pelosi decided to schedule a final vote on the infrastructure bill, and stop short of final passage of the Build Back Better bill, by only voting on the rule governing debate, hoping that would be enough to unify Democrats.

That plan however immediately collided with a significant number of progressives, who have consistently called for both the infrastructure and Build Back Better bills to move together.

Progressives stalled floor action for hours as they deliberated how to move forward.

Then, moments before the final vote, a group of key moderate holdouts released a statement vowing to vote for the social spending package “in its current form other than technical changes, as expeditiously as we receive fiscal information from the Congressional Budget Office-but in no event later than the week of November 15.”

In Its Current Form

The current form includes several additions that Senator Joe Manchin has repeatedly stated he will not vote for.

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The current form also includes immigration reform that cannot possibly get past Senate reconciliation rules.

Pelosi Pushes for a Vote That's Doomed in the Senate, What's Going On?

Earlier today I asked Pelosi Pushes for a Vote That's Doomed in the Senate, What's Going On?

What's Going On?

Are these actions supposed to change Manchin's mind? What?

The only thing I can come up with is Pelosi is now willing to pass the infrastructure bill and Build Back Better separately but cannot come out and say it that way because Progressives will not go along.

Divide and Conquer?

  • If she cannot goad the Progressives to give up their BBB First demand, there will be nothing at all because Manchin has the opposite demand.
  • If infrastructure passes (allegedly on a track where BBB is presented at the same time but cannot pass the Senate), she will say “Do you want something or nothing?”

Is take what you can get by "divide and conquer" the unannounced game?

Divide and Conquer It Is

Pelosi and Biden pressured Progressives into passing the infrastructure bill stand alone. 

Next, assuming Manchin hold firms, Pelosi will ask the Progressives “Do you want something or nothing?”

Rest assured it will be something unless Manchin is willing to kill the whole damn thing.

I hoped Progressives would not cave in, but they did as expected. 

Unfortunately We Get Something

No loaf was better than part of a loaf. Unfortunately, we get at least part of the loaf. 

How much more of the loaf we get is up to Senator Manchin.

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