President Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer have failed to thread a needle into the volatile corners of their caucus by a self-imposed (or “self-imposed”, in the language of a House Democrat) deadline to pass a core policy of their domestic program.
With the exception of a few invisible dramatic changes, the front hours seem to have only two real options:
- Hold the vote set out in the Bilateral Infrastructure Bill and watch it fail
- Pull the bill
The bottom line is that Biden and Pelosi, after a few days of behind-the-scenes efforts, entered the day without a clear path to a majority in the ২ 1.2 trillion bilateral infrastructure bill. But the process is not over, that program is not over, and even if not a few weeks before the talks, according to several White House officials and lawmakers.
Pelosi told CNN’s Manu Raju that there are still plans to put the infrastructure bill on the floor. This was followed by a meeting with Biden and Schumer at the Oval Office.
But four days ago, he told ABC’s “This Week”:
“I never bring a bill to the floor where there is no vote.”
Where things stand right now: The dynamics have not changed in the last few weeks. In many ways, they are simply more involved.
Progressive Democrats are not planning to withhold their votes from the 1. 1.2 trillion infrastructure bill alone unless they make progress on the second, multi-trillion economic and climate package. They have been asking for legislation. Moderates want to know exactly what they are getting on the big bill before signing up on the infrastructure plan. It’s called leverage, but it’s also called bringing Biden’s agenda to an end.
“We can’t negotiate with ourselves,” representative Katie Porter, a progressive, told CNN. “People say, ‘Are you willing to talk to Sen. Manchin?’ What? “
Only two senators can give that – Sense. According to people who have talked to both of them in the last 2 hours, no one has done it, or they have no plans.
So things are frozen, and will probably remain until there is a mass movement from the two moderate hold-outs.