No Infrastructure without Reconciliation

Shutterstock | mark reinstein

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Last night, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced to her caucus that she plans to bring the bipartisan infrastructure bill up for a vote this Thursday, separate from the budget reconciliation package. This stands in direct contrast to the agreement reached within the Democratic caucus that both bills would proceed simultaneously, and must be rejected by all Democrats who care about advancing the party’s full agenda.

Speaker Pelosi claims that the two bills can’t proceed together because they need more time to negotiate details of the reconciliation bill, but there is no real reason (aside from moderate threats to derail the entire process) that the infrastructure bill needs to pass this week. The correct decision, and the one that progressives in the House must force her to make, is to delay the infrastructure vote until the reconciliation bill is ready.

Moving infrastructure forward first would jeopardize everything that Democrats have worked so hard to achieve over these last months, and put the party at risk of completely failing to follow through on its promise to voters. The Biden Build Back Better Agenda in the reconciliation bill is what the entire Democratic party ran on, from the White House to the Senate to the House of Representatives, and it is what their constituents expected to receive when they gave Democrats control of the federal government.

The people want the federal government to invest in our country’s future, and they want to tax the rich to help pay for it. None of that will be possible without the passage of the full budget reconciliation bill.

It’s obvious to see that a vote on infrastructure before the details of reconciliation are worked out would give the conservative members of the Democratic party immense power to shrink the scope of the package’s important investments in American families, or kill them outright. Centrist and corporate Democrats have been digging their heels in and doing everything they can to protect their wealthy sponsors and avoid taxing the rich, even if it means going in direct opposition to what the Democratic party wants and what the voters have demanded. For the sake of this country, the rest of the Democratic party cannot allow that to happen.

Thankfully, it appears that enough members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus have vowed to vote against the infrastructure bill until it is directly paired with the reconciliation package, meaning this Thursday’s vote is likely to fail or be pushed back even further.

We support House progressives in their decision to vote no on this inadequate package, and we hope that many of their other Democratic colleagues will join them in supporting the President’s overwhelmingly popular agenda.

If you agree, please take a few minutes out of your day to call your Representative at 202-224-3121 and tell them to vote no on the infrastructure bill unless it’s paired with reconciliation. 

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