The House Progressive Caucus once again refused to vote in favor of Biden’s infrastructure bill on Thursday. Democrat liberals are still fighting to pass the stranded social policy framework and climate change agenda, which moderates are holding back.
Biden failed to impress progressive lawmakers in a closed-door meeting
President Biden rushed to Capitol Hill on Thursday to lobby for the passing of his infrastructure bill and presented a “framework” of his $1.85 trillion economic, infrastructure bill.
However, progressives were untouched by Biden’s meeting; it became evident before the vote the president failed to gather enough support for infrastructure bill approval.
Cori Bush, a progressive Democrat from Missouri, evinced she felt “a little bamboozled” by Biden’s approach, while Rashida Tlaib, another progressive, also rejected Biden’s proposal with harsh remarks.
The House has delayed the infrastructure vote again, in a blow to Biden's agenda as he heads overseas for G20 meetingshttps://t.co/nQuYrFHK7j
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) October 28, 2021
Earlier this month, the progressive caucus refused to vote for the infrastructure bill, as the Senate failed to vote for the social spending legislation. However, this time, progressives have surrendered their demand of bringing the social spending bill in its original form alongside the infrastructure bill.
The only thing Democrats demanded this time was to see the written text of the $1.85 trillion economic and environmental legislation before the infrastructure vote. They also sought an assurance from Biden that moderate Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin would vote for it.
Pramila Jayapal, the chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, demanded Biden to show the actual text, instead of just presenting the “framework” to win their votes. Likewise, she also insisted both bills should come back-to-back in Congress.
Progressives demanding the actual text of the $1.85 trillion bill before the infrastructure vote
House progressives were pushing Biden to unleash the text of the negotiated social policy framework; they refused to vote for the infrastructure bill before seeing the entire text.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), a progressive Democrat, said on Wednesday she could not vote to increase climate emissions at all by voting on the infrastructure plan alone. Likewise, she added the framework was present for more than six months, but it is vague, so she cannot vote for it.
Biden knows the importance of passing the infrastructure bill in Congress as soon as possible. This is the reason why Biden told Democrats during the meeting that leftist House and Senate majorities, along with his own presidency, are heavily dependent on the economic agenda which he is trying to pass by divided Democrats.
Progressives are ready to vote for the Build Back Better Act AND the infrastructure bill.
It’s time to get this done and deliver transformational change for people across this country. pic.twitter.com/N6uASDIHnS
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) October 28, 2021
Liberal Democrats are offended, majorly because the paid family leave benefit has been excluded from the original social spending bill. Joe Manchin was the only opposition to this spending. Manchin said such a vast spending spree would change the US social policy framework altogether.
While liberals are dismayed by the intra-party negotiations on the reconciliation bill to some extent, they are still largely loving it. Jayapal said the bill has the biggest housing investment since the New Deal and other “really good things” progressives like.