Dems Feud Heading Into Biden's $3.5 Trillion Economic Package Vote
By Ryan Shepard
August 23, 2021
There is discord within the Democratic Party as members of the U.S. House of Representatives return to Capitol Hill in preparation for a vote on a large infrastructure bill. As a result, divisions between the "moderate" portion of the political party and the "progressive" end of the party may come to the forefront.
This week, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi plans to hold a vote regarding President Joe Biden's $3.5 trillion economic package. As previously reported, the package would provide universal pre-K for three and four years olds, establish tuition-free community college for two-year programs, expand medicare and make a "historic" investment into affordable housing. Many Republicans have pushed back against this package, calling it a "reckless taxing and spending spree." Still, Pelosi believes that she has the support needed to push it through the House.
"In support of President Biden's vision to Build Back Better, we must move quickly to pass the budget resolution this week," Pelosi said.
"It is essential that our Caucus proceeds unified in our determination to deliver once-in-a-century progress for the children."
Not only have Republicans raised issues with this bill, but more moderate Democrats have pushed back against it as well. Rep. Josh Gottheimer and several other Democratic lawmakers have asked that the House vote on a more conservative $550 billion infrastructure bill before voting on the more ambitious package supported by the White House.
"[We are] firmly opposed to holding the president’s infrastructure legislation hostage to reconciliation, risking its passage and the bipartisan support behind it," Gottheimer and several of his more moderate colleagues wrote in The Washington Post.
As disputes continue to pop up within the Democratic Party regarding the infrastructure bill, many are uncertain as to how this will all play out in the coming weeks.
"I don't know how this is going to play out in the House with the so-called centrists. Are they going to continue to stand up to the president, or are they going to fall in line?" lobbyist Jim Manley told NBC News.
"I'm not quite sure what the endgame is here, but I learned a long time ago not to bet against Speaker Pelosi."