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Sinema blasts party leadership’s ‘inexcusable’ decision to cancel vote on $1T infrastructure bill 


Following a dramatic week on Capitol Hill, a moderate Democratic senator from Arizona slammed leaders of her own party over their ‘inexcusable’ failure to hold a vote on the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan.

Sen. Krysten Sinema — one of the key holdouts on the budget bill — took to Twitter Saturday, calling the canceled vote ‘deeply disappointing’ and a betrayal of the trust of the American people.

‘The failure of the U.S. House to hold a vote on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is inexcusable, and deeply disappointing for communities across our country,’ Sinema wrote.

‘Denying Americans millions of good-paying jobs, safer roads, cleaner water, more reliable electricity, and better broadband only hurts everyday families.’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi canceled the vote on the Senate-passed infrastructure bill on Thursday as several far-left caucus members vowed to tank President Joe Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan, which centrists support, if the moderate faction does not also back the broader $3.5 trillion social spending bill that is packed with their priorities. 

Although Democrats did not have enough votes to pass the infrastructure bill, Sinema argues that cancelling it was ‘an ineffective stunt to gain leverage over a separate proposal.’

Sen. Krysten Sinema (D-Ariz.) slammed Democratic leaders on Saturday over their ‘inexcusable’ failure to hold a vote on the $1.2trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan

‘My vote belongs to Arizona, and I do not trade my vote for political favors — I vote based only on what is best for my state and the country,’ she said. 

‘I have never, and would never, agree to any bargain that would hold one piece of legislation hostage to another.’

Sinema also argued that she worked to deliver the infrastructure bill while also engaging in ‘good faith negotiations’ on the reconciliation package.  

‘Good-faith negotiations, however, require trust. Over the course of this year, Democratic leaders have made conflicting promises that could not all be kept — and have, at times, pretended that differences of opinion within our party did not exist, even when those disagreements were repeatedly made clear directly and publicly,’ she stated.

‘Canceling the infrastructure vote further erodes that trust. More importantly, it betrays the trust the American people have placed in their elected leaders and denies our country crucial investments to expand economic opportunities.’ 

In a statement released on Twitter, Sinema argued that delaying the vote was 'deeply disappointing' and a betrayal of the trust of the American people.

In a statement released on Twitter, Sinema argued that delaying the vote was ‘deeply disappointing’ and a betrayal of the trust of the American people.

Sinema’s comments came after the vote was delayed for the third time this week.

Pelosi previously vowed to bring the measure to the floor on Monday and Thursday, signaling a deepening stalemate even as party leaders insist progress is being made. She admitted that ‘more time is needed’ after the two sides failed to reach a deal on the broader $3.5 trillion spending package. 

However, she also issued a letter Saturday to fellow Democrats stating that she wants the legislation to be passed before the end of the month. 

‘There is an October 31st Surface Transportation Authorization deadline, after last night’s passage of a critical 30-day extension. We must pass [Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework] well before then – the sooner the better, to get the jobs out there,’ Pelosi wrote. 

‘We will and must pass both bills soon. We have the responsibility and the opportunity to do so. People are waiting and want results.’    

Sinema’s and Pelosi’s statements were released just hours after Biden acknowledged his frustrations as Democrats strain to rescue a scaled-back version of his $3.5 trillion government-overhaul plan and salvage a related public works bill after frantic negotiations failed to produce a deal.

‘Everybody’s frustrated, it’s part of being in government, being frustrated,’ Biden told reporters Saturday before leaving the White House for a weekend stay at his home in Wilmington, Delaware. 

He pledged to ‘work like hell’ to get the two pillars of his domestic agenda passed into law, but refrained from laying out a new deadline. 

‘I support both of them. And I think we can get them both done,’ he told Fox News.

The White House also released a statement Saturday arguing that Biden left a meeting with caucus Democrats on Friday ‘with the firm belief that there was a shared commitment from across the Democratic Caucus to deliver for the American people.’

‘The President and his team will continue close engagement with Members of both the House and the Senate through the weekend,’ the statement read.

‘And he looks forward to not only welcoming Members to the White House next week, but also traveling the country to make the case for his bold and ambitious agenda.’ 

Sinema's comments come after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (front, right) released a statement saying she wanted the legislation passed by the end of October and as President Joe Biden (back, left) expressed frustrations over the failed negotiations

Sinema’s comments come after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (front, right) released a statement saying she wanted the legislation passed by the end of October and as President Joe Biden (back, left) expressed frustrations over the failed negotiations

Meanwhile, other Democrats have singled out Pelosi and other members of leadership for delaying the vote. 

Democratic Representative Josh Gottheimer, a leader of the moderates, said in a statement Friday it was ‘deeply regrettable’ that Pelosi broke her commitment to hold a vote on the infrastructure bill, claiming ‘a small far-left faction’ of the House blocked the vote.

Gottheimer, a New Jersey Democrat, has clashed with those in the ‘progressive’ wing of the party over the two huge pieces of legislation Democrats are hoping to pass. He urged Democrats to pass the bipartisan infrastructure deal right away and then proceed to focus on the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill separately.  

‘It’s deeply regrettable that Speaker Pelosi breached her firm, public commitment to Members of Congress and the American people to hold a vote and to pass the once-in-a-century bipartisan infrastructure bill on or before September 27,’ he said.

‘Specifically, the Speaker said, ‘I am committing to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill by September 27. I do so with a commitment to rally House Democratic support for its passage.’ That agreement was sealed with the vote of every Democrat in the House on August 24, which put the commitment in writing.’

Gottheimer continued, slamming ‘this far left faction’ and accusing them of ‘putting civility and bipartisan governing at risk.’

‘Along with a group of Members, I’ve been working around-the-clock to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill, legislation we helped craft back in April with my Senate colleagues,’ Gottheimer said in a statement Friday. ‘But a small far-left faction of the House of Representatives undermined that agreement and blocked a critical vote on the President’s historic bipartisan infrastructure bill.’  

Democratic Representative Josh Gottheimer, a leader of the moderates, said in a statement it was 'deeply regrettable' that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi broke her commitment to hold a vote on the infrastructure bill claiming 'a small far left faction' of the House blocked the vote

Democratic Representative Josh Gottheimer, a leader of the moderates, said in a statement it was ‘deeply regrettable’ that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi broke her commitment to hold a vote on the infrastructure bill claiming ‘a small far left faction’ of the House blocked the vote

Hours later, Gottheimer put out a statement slamming 'this far left faction' accusing them of 'putting civility and bipartisan governing at risk.'

Hours later, Gottheimer put out a statement slamming ‘this far left faction’ accusing them of ‘putting civility and bipartisan governing at risk.’

Unlike Sinema and Gottheimer, Congressional Progressive Caucus chair Pramila Jayapal, a Democrat from Washington State, is pushing for the two bills to be linked.

‘Let us be clear: our caucus supports the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. We see the harms that crumbling roads, structurally deficient bridges, and lead-poisoned water have on our communities. Updating our infrastructure is a necessary component to delivering a strong, stable economy that creates opportunity for all,’ she penned in an op-ed to CNN on Monday.

‘But equally necessary are the child care, elder care, health care, housing, education and climate actions currently included in the Build Back Better Act. Without both the infrastructure bill and the budget bill, our economic recovery will be slow, unstable, and weak. Millions of Americans will be left out or fall further behind.’

Jayapal also blamed ‘conservative Democrats’ saying they were in the way of the president’s agenda. 

‘A few conservative Democrats have suggested we should ‘pause’ this urgently needed legislation by moving forward without the Build Back Better Act and providing less help to families. But we will not leave behind child care, paid leave, health care, housing, education, climate action, and a long-overdue road map to citizenship.’

She continued: ‘We must deliver for American families. Our Progressive Caucus members will put our votes on the line to send the entirety of the Build Back Better agenda to President Biden’s desk.’ 

Unlike Sinema and Gottheimer, Congressional Progressive Caucus chair Pramila Jayapal (pictured), a Democrat from Washington State, is pushing for the two to be linked

Unlike Sinema and Gottheimer, Congressional Progressive Caucus chair Pramila Jayapal (pictured), a Democrat from Washington State, is pushing for the two to be linked

In a desperate bid to appease the moderate holdouts — Senators Joe Manchin and Sinema — Biden went to Capitol Hill on Friday for a private meeting with House Democrats that was partly a morale booster for the disjointed caucus of lawmakers. 

The president offered to slash more than a trillion dollars from his mammoth spending bill, in an attempt to save his political agenda from warring factions in his own party. 

He pleaded with House progressives to agree to cut some $1.5 trillion from the broader bill, according to lawmakers in the room.

‘Manchin and Sinema — should we just call them co-president at this point,’ grumbled one Democrat leaving the meeting, according to The Hill. ‘Is that what it’s come down to?’

In his private meeting with the House Democratic caucus, Biden told the lawmakers that ‘I know a little bit about the legislative process,’ a person familiar with the private remarks told the Associated Press.

The president also reportedly relayed an anecdote fit for the moment, telling them that when he moved into the Oval Office, he installed pictures of Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt, presidents who respectively led a ‘deeply divided country and the biggest economic transformation — and that’s just the kind of moment we’re in,’ according to Rep. David Cicilline, a Rhode Island Democrat.

Biden, left, came down to the Capitol to meet with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and fellow Democrats on October 1. The party is split over the proposed bills

Biden, left, came down to the Capitol to meet with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and fellow Democrats on October 1. The party is split over the proposed bills

Bill Maher DEFENDS Manchin and Sinema from furious progressives saying ‘they might have their thumb on the pulse of the average Democrat’

Real Time host Bill Maher has expressed support for moderate Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, as they face down progressives in the party in a civil war over President Joe Biden’s multitrillion spending plans.

Maher opened his panel discussion of Friday night with journalists Matt Taibbi and Katherine Mangu-Ward by discussing the chaos on Capitol Hill between the warring Democrat factions.

Progressives are threatening to tank Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan, which centrists support, if the moderate faction does not also back the broader $3.5 trillion social spending bill that is packed with their priorities. 

Maher noted that House progressives are ‘very mad’ at Sinema and Manchin for blocking the broader bill. 

‘They’re mad at them because they’re not progressive enough — forgetting that they only got elected because they’re not progressives! They’re moderates,’ Maher said.

Real Time host Bill Maher has expressed support for moderate Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, as they face down progressives in the party

Real Time host Bill Maher has expressed support for moderate Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, as they face down progressives in the party

‘Here’s my question: Does spending more money make you a better person?’ Maher asked. 

‘And maybe these two, Sinema and Manchin, do they might have their thumb more on the pulse on the average Democrat in the country?’ he asked.

Both Manchin, from West Virginia, and Sinema, from Arizona, won close races in 2018 in states that have Republican governors, by garnering support from independents. 

Earlier, in his monologue, Maher also tackled the budget fights in DC, noting that Congress had passed an 11th hour stopgap measure on Thursday to prevent a government shutdown.

‘You’re cheering? Because we made it through ’til December 3. That’s what they did!’ Maher reacted. ‘This is the equivalent of putting duct tape on your shower nozzle until you actually call the plumber.’ 

‘This stupid, stupid game of chicken that they always play when a Democrat is the president and Republicans can make him look like an a**hole,’ Maher said.

‘And of course, at the last minute, Democrats had to back down. Nancy Pelosi blinked, which is itself new,’ he added.

Biden spent less than an hour with House Democrats during the rare presidential visit to Capitol Hill.

As he left he appeared to concede tensions between progressives and centrists within his own party needed more than a quick bit of sweet talking if he was to save his domestic agenda. 

He also attributed the failed negotiations to the usual atmosphere at the capital, but assured Americans that the bills were popular enough to pass. 

‘I’m a realist. I know how legislation gets done. There’s no reason why both bills can’t pass. It doesn’t matter if it is six minutes, six days or six weeks. We are going to get it done,’ he said.

Pelosi said, ‘While great progress has been made in the negotiations… more time is needed to complete the task. 

After Pelosi again called off a planned vote on infrastructure in the face of progressive opposition, moderate House Democrats slammed the move as ‘a sad day for our nation’ and asked for the bill to be brought to the floor immediately. 

According to lawmakers in the room, Biden had also discussed a $1.9 trillion to $2 trillion-plus price tag for the larger package that would expand the country’s social safety net.

The White House and its allies in Congress are prepared for protracted negotiations. 

Biden added that he would soon travel around the country to promote the legislation and he acknowledged concerns that the talk in Washington had become too focused on the trillions in new spending and taxes in the bill.

He pledged to do more to educate the public about the plan’s new and expanded programs, which he contended have the support of the vast majority of the electorate.

‘I’m going to try to sell what I think the American people will buy,’ Biden said Saturday, adding, ‘I believe that when the American people are aware of what´s in it we´ll get it done.’

The president said he believed the legislation will be signed into law with ‘plenty of time to change the tax code for people next year.’

It’s a pivotal time for Biden and the party. His approval ratings have dropped and Democrats are restless, eager to deliver on his signature campaign promise of rebuilding the country. 

His ideas go beyond roads-and-bridges infrastructure to delivering dental, vision and hearing care for seniors, free prekindergarten, major efforts to tackle climate change and other investments that would touch countless American lives.

Sen. Joe Manchin, of West Virginia, had dashed hopes for a swift compromise on a framework when he refused to budge late Thursday on his demands for a smaller overall package, about $1.5 trillion.

The senator stands against the 96-member strong Congressional Progressive Caucus, who have banded together in a voting bloc against the infrastructure plan until Senate moderates agree to support the broader social agenda.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chair of the caucus, condemned moderates for standing in the way of the bigger spending package.

‘We won’t let massive corporations, billionaires, and a few conservative Democrats stand in the way of delivering transformational progress for millions of working people,’ she said

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Cori Bush blasted Manchin for now demanding that Democrats trim the budget package to $1.5 trillion after backing an earlier version of the massive plan.

‘We need to be serious and right now when we are seeing from the conservative side and the small cadre of people is a fundamentally unserious pattern of negotiation,’ Ocasio-Cortez told ABC News.

Without a broader deal, prospects for a vote on the companion public works bill stalled out as progressives refused to commit until senators reached agreement. 

Pelosi told colleagues that ‘more time is needed’ as they shape the broader package. 

Senator Joe Manchin

Senator Krysten Sinema

Senators Joe Manchin, left, and Krysten Sinema, both moderate Democrats, are the key holdouts preventing the party from passing the ambitious spending bills

Reps. Cori Bush (left) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (right) blasted Manchin for now demanding that Democrats trim the budget package to $1.5 trillion after backing an earlier version of the massive plan

Reps. Cori Bush (left) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (right) blasted Manchin for now demanding that Democrats trim the budget package to $1.5 trillion after backing an earlier version of the massive plan 

The House passed a 30-day measure to keep transportation programs running during the stalemate, essentially setting a new deadline for talks, October 31. 

The Senate was set to follow with a vote Saturday, to halt the furloughs of more than 3,500 federal transportation workers, a byproduct of the political impasse.

With Republicans solidly opposed to Biden’s sweeping vision, the president and Democrats are reaching for a giant legislative accomplishment on their own – all to be paid for by rewriting federal balance sheets with tax increases on corporations and the wealthy, those earning more than $400,000 a year. 

The larger of Biden’s proposals is a years-in-the-making collection of Democratic priorities with an ultimate price tag he says is zero, because the tax revenue would cover the spending costs. 

The White House and Democrats also are focusing on raising the nation’s borrowing limit before the United States risks defaulting on its obligations – a deadline the Treasury Department estimates will be reached no later than October 18. 

The House has already acted, but Republicans senators have indicated they will not provide votes for bipartisan passage and want Democrats to go it alone.

‘I hope that the Republicans won’t be so irresponsible as to refuse to raise the debt limit and to filibuster the debt limit,’ Biden said Saturday. 

‘That would be totally unconscionable. Never been done before. And so I hope that won’t happen.”  

Meanwhile, Simena – who called out her own party leadership on Saturday – remains under scrutiny after she skipped town to see a foot doctor with plans to attend a big dollar fundraiser amid tense budget talks in Washington.  

She was seen leaving the Capitol late Thursday night after being holed up in talks all day. 

Her office said she remained in touch with the White House even while tending to her hurt foot.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., leaves a private meeting with Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., White House domestic policy adviser Susan Rice, Director of the National Economic Council Brian Deese, and other White House officials on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021. She flew home to Phoenix, where she had a medical appointment Friday, her office said. The NY Times reported she was to attend a high-dollar fundraiser retreat Saturday

Sinema, a runner, broke her foot in June

Sinema, a runner, broke her foot in June

‘Senator Sinema is in Phoenix where she has a medical appointment today, and where she continues remote negotiations with the White House,’ her office said in a statement Friday.

‘Last night, Kyrsten and our team offered the White House continued discussions and negotiations for this morning. We’re awaiting word from the White House for their availability,’ the statement added.

The Senate was not in session Friday, and most of the action was in the House where Biden attempted to resolve intra-party disputes on the infrastructure bill and reconciliation package. 

Amid the turmoil, the New York Times reported that Sinema had a big dollar ‘retreat’ for her PAC on Saturday, to be held at a high-end resort and spa.  

Earlier this week, the paper reported she attended a ‘Sinema for Arizona’ event in DC with lobbyists and supporters paying up to $5,100 to support her. 

Sinema broke her foot in June while running the Light at the End of the Tunnel Marathon in Washington state. She is an avid athlete and runner, competing in marathons and ironman triathlons. In the weeks after she was spotted in the Capitol hobbling on crutches and wearing a boot. 

Lawmakers who get health coverage for their Senate offices can choose from medical plans that have in-network doctors in Washington, D.C. 

Some progressives are boiling over at the first-term senator, including Rep. Mark Pocan claimed she has brought nothing ‘but a designer purse’ to leadership negotiations.

'Half of Manchinema has now shown us something. Waiting for the other half to show us something other than a designer purse,' said Pocan, in reference to Sens. Manchin and Sinema

‘Half of Manchinema has now shown us something. Waiting for the other half to show us something other than a designer purse,’ said Pocan, in reference to Sens. Manchin and Sinema

Progressive lawmakers have been boiling over at Sinema for failing to state precise objections to the reconciliation bill or a top number she can live with. 'Claims that the Senator has not detailed her views to President Biden and Senator Schumer are false,' she finally responded Thursday

Progressive lawmakers have been boiling over at Sinema for failing to state precise objections to the reconciliation bill or a top number she can live with. ‘Claims that the Senator has not detailed her views to President Biden and Senator Schumer are false,’ she finally responded Thursday

Pocan, a Wisconsin member of the substantial House progressive faction, tore into Sinema as the Arizona Democrat once again held a key role in Capitol negotiations, after shuttling repeatedly to the White House this week.

‘Half of Manchinema has now shown us something. Waiting for the other half to show us something other than a designer purse,’ Pocan told Forbes, referencing how the Simena and Manchina are deterring the bill’s passage.

His comment came after fellow progressive Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) ripped Sinema this week.

‘The president has already won me over. I’m on his side, as by the way is 99 per cent of the Democratic party,’ the lawmaker fumed on CNN. ‘We’re willing to negotiate,’ he said. ‘Literally one senator – one Senator, Kyrsten Sinema – is holding up the will of the entire Democratic Party,’ he said. 

Said Khanna: ‘The President keeps begging her: tell us what you want. Put a proposal forward,’ Khsanna said. He noted that progressive lawmakers had come down from an earlier push for $6 trillion in the ‘human infrastructure’ bill.  

‘How do you compromise … when Sinema is not saying anything?’ he asked. ‘This is not progressives versus moderates. This is the entire Democratic Party and Joe Biden versus Kyrsten Sinema,’ he added. ‘I have no idea what she wants. I don’t htink her colleagues know what she wants. I don’t think the president knows what she wants. We don’t know what she wants. it’s really odd. 

Sinema defended herself against the criticism in a statement tweeted out by her office Thurdsay.

‘Senator Sinema said publicly more than two months ago, before Senate passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill, that she would not support a bill costing $3.5 trillion,’ her office said. ‘In August, she shared detailed concerns and priorities, including dollar figures, directly with Senate Majority Leader [Chuck] Schumer and the White House. Claims that the Senator has not detailed her views to President Biden and Senator Schumer are false.’ 

Similarly, protesters and political activists have demanded to know why the Manchin refuses to support the $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill.

In a video capturing the exchange, Manchin, aboard his $700,000 yacht named Almost Heaven, assured the West Virginian kayakers that Democrats were working to pass a reasonable bill. 

Sen. Joe Manchin, of West Virginia, spoke to protesters from aboard his $700,000 yacht

Sen. Joe Manchin, of West Virginia, spoke to protesters from aboard his $700,000 yacht

Protesters kayaked to the ship to ask why their senator would not support his own party's $3.5 trillion infrustructe bill

Protesters kayaked to the ship to ask why their senator would not support his own party’s $3.5 trillion infrustructe bill 

One protester urged Manchin to vote for the bill while Democrats controlled Congress

One protester urged Manchin to vote for the bill while Democrats controlled Congress

‘We’re working hard, we really are,’ Manchin said, looking down at the protesters who paddled up to speak with him ‘We want to get a good bill that’s a balanced bill, that’s well done. And I know it won’t be enough for some, it will be too much for others.’ 

When one of the protesters asked him he raise taxes for the wealthy, Manchin said that it would be a priority.

‘That’s the number one thing. We should be fixing the tax codes so everyone pays their fare share. We’re taxing the rich, I agree. We’re going to make the rich and the famous pay.’

Another protester pleaded with Manchin to pass the spending bill, saying that the Republican Party would likely take control of Congress in 2022.

‘This is our one chance right now to pass the legislation. They’re not going to pass something like this for the people,’ the protester said.

Manchin rebuked the statement and said the bill was a work in progress.

He remains committed to slashing the infrastructure bill by more than half as the moderate Democrat continues the feud with his progressive counterparts.

Isn’t it all a bit late, Joe? Biden reveals he’ll tour the country next week to sell his scaled back $2.3T budget package after humiliating no-vote and admits, ‘everyone is frustrated’

A casually dressed President Joe Biden acknowledged frustrations as Democrats strain to rescue a scaled-back version of his $3.5 trillion government-overhaul plan and salvage a related public works bill after frantic negotiations failed to produce a deal.

‘Everybody’s frustrated, it’s part of being in government, being frustrated,’ Biden told reporters before leaving the White House for a weekend stay at his home in Wilmington, Delaware. 

He pledged to ‘work like hell’ to get the two pillars of his domestic agenda passed into law, but refrained from laying out a new deadline.

President Joe Biden admitted 'everyone is frustrated' regarding the stalled passing of his $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill in the House

President Joe Biden admitted ‘everyone is frustrated’ regarding the stalled passing of his $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill in the House

Biden said he would work 'like hell' to get the bill passed before going home for the weekend

Biden said he would work ‘like hell’ to get the bill passed before going home for the weekend

The president had gone to Capitol Hill on Friday for a private meeting with House Democrats that was partly a morale booster for the disjointed caucus of lawmakers.

During the meeting, Biden had offered to slash more than a trillion dollars from his mammoth spending bill in an attempt to save his political agenda from warring factions in his own party. 

Progressives are refusing to move forward with the infrastructure bill until they can be sure centrists will not water down the bigger, $3.5trillion proposal. It proposes hiking taxes on the nation’s wealthiest in order to fund a huge round of spending on free education, social care and green measures. 

In the Senate, moderates Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema are key holdouts who have advocated for greater slashes to the president’s infrastructure bill. 

Biden attributed the frustration the usual atmosphere at the capital, but assured Americans that the bills were popular enough to pass. 

‘I’m a realist. I know how legislation gets done. There’s no reason why both bills can’t pass.’ 

Biden arrived at Delaware on Saturday morning. He plans to stay the weekend before going on a cross country trip to promote his signature spending bills

Biden arrived at Delaware on Saturday morning. He plans to stay the weekend before going on a cross country trip to promote his signature spending bills 

Biden, left, came down to the Capitol to meet with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and fellow Democrats on October 1. The party is split over the proposed bills

Biden, left, came down to the Capitol to meet with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and fellow Democrats on October 1. The party is split over the proposed bills

BREAK DOWN OF THE $1.2T BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE BILL

$110 billion for roads and bridges

$39 billion for public transit

$66 billion for railways

$65 billion for expanding broadband internet 

$25 billion to repair major airports

$7.5 billion for the first-ever network of charging stations for electric vehicles

$21 billion to respond to environmental concerns like pollution

$73 billion to modernize America’s energy grid 

FUNDING

$650 billion in funding for the bill comes from existing, planned investments in the country’s roads, highways and bridges

The remaining $550 billion over the next five years requires new spending 

Democrats wanted to fund the rest through tax revenues like a new gas tax

Republicans wanted to raise money through fees issues on those who use the new infrastructure

The bipartisan compromise, sure to raise heated debate, proposed using $205 billion in untapped COVID-19 relief aid and unemployment assistance that was turned away by some states

 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, ‘While great progress has been made in the negotiations… more time is needed to complete the task. 

After Pelosi again called off a planned vote on infrastructure in the face of progressive opposition, moderate House Democrats slammed the move as ‘a sad day for our nation’ and asked for the bill to be brought to the floor immediately. 

According to lawmakers in the room, Biden had also discussed a $1.9 trillion to $2 trillion-plus price tag for the larger package that would expand the country’s social safety net.

The White House and its allies in Congress are prepared for protracted negotiations. 

Biden added that he would soon travel around the country to promote the legislation and he acknowledged concerns that the talk in Washington had become too focused on the trillions in new spending and taxes in the bill.

He pledged to do more to educate the public about the plan’s new and expanded programs, which he contended have the support of the vast majority of the electorate.

‘I’m going to try to sell what I think the American people will buy,’ Biden said Saturday, adding, ‘I believe that when the American people are aware of what´s in it we´ll get it done.’

The president said he believed the legislation will be signed into law with ‘plenty of time to change the tax code for people next year.’

It’s a pivotal time for Biden and the party. His approval ratings have dropped and Democrats are restless, eager to deliver on his signature campaign promise of rebuilding the country. 

His ideas go beyond roads-and-bridges infrastructure to delivering dental, vision and hearing care for seniors, free prekindergarten, major efforts to tackle climate change and other investments that would touch countless American lives.

Manchin, of West Virginia, had dashed hopes for a swift compromise on a framework when he refused to budge late Thursday on his demands for a smaller overall package, about $1.5 trillion.

Manchin stands against the 96-member strong Congressional Progressive Caucus, who have banded together in a voting bloc against the infrastructure plan until Senate moderates agree to support the broader social agenda.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chair of the caucus, condemned moderates for standing in the way of the bigger spending package.

‘We won’t let massive corporations, billionaires, and a few conservative Democrats stand in the way of delivering transformational progress for millions of working people,’ she said

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Cori Bush blasted Manchin for now demanding that Democrats trim the budget package to $1.5 trillion after backing an earlier version of the massive plan.

‘We need to be serious and right now when we are seeing from the conservative side and the small cadre of people is a fundamentally unserious pattern of negotiation,’ Ocasio-Cortez told ABC News.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus,

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Progressives are flexing their muscles. Led by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (left), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (right) they are threatening to tank Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure bill

Without a broader deal, prospects for a vote on the companion public works bill stalled out as progressives refused to commit until senators reached agreement. 

Pelosi told colleagues that ‘more time is needed’ as they shape the broader package.

The House passed a 30-day measure to keep transportation programs running during the stalemate, essentially setting a new deadline for talks, October 31. 

The Senate was set to follow with a vote Saturday, to halt the furloughs of more than 3,500 federal transportation workers, a byproduct of the political impasse.

With Republicans solidly opposed to Biden’s sweeping vision, the president and Democrats are reaching for a giant legislative accomplishment on their own – all to be paid for by rewriting federal balance sheets with tax increases on corporations and the wealthy, those earning more than $400,000 a year.

The larger of Biden’s proposals is a years-in-the-making collection of Democratic priorities with an ultimate price tag he says is zero, because the tax revenue would cover the spending costs.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress will vote again on the Bill on Monday or Tuesday, after having to delay it three times

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress will vote again on the Bill on Monday or Tuesday, after having to delay it three times

‘We will and must pass both bills soon,’ Pelosi said in a letter Saturday to fellow Democrats. ‘We have the responsibility and the opportunity to do so. People are waiting and want results.’

The White House and Democrats also are focusing on raising the nation’s borrowing limit before the United States risks defaulting on its obligations – a deadline the Treasury Department estimates will be reached no later than October 18. 

The House has already acted, but Republicans senators have indicated they will not provide votes for bipartisan passage and want Democrats to go it alone.

‘I hope that the Republicans won’t be so irresponsible as to refuse to raise the debt limit and to filibuster the debt limit,’ Biden said Saturday. ‘That would be totally unconscionable. Never been done before. And so I hope that won’t happen.” 



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