On Friday evening, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi admitted defeat, saying that they needed more time to pass an infrastructure bill worth $1 trillion, that serves as one of the bastions of President Joe Biden’s agenda. This admission of defeat comes following her previous promise of passing the proposal this week.
Pelosi had vowed to moderate House Democrats that the said bill would be on the floor, but progressives threatened to sin it unless it comes in tandem with another spending proposal worth $3.5 trillion, also known as the Build Back Better Act that includes a slew of social welfare programs.
Republicans remain united as they oppose the larger bill. Meanwhile, Democratic moderate Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema refused to back $3.5 trillion’s worth of new spending, so the proposal could not pass the Senate. With this, the house speaker had no use to pass it in the House. Also, she was forced to cave when it came to the infrastructure bill as progressives pushed that the other measure needs to be considered by the House, too, or they would shoot down the said proposal
For the entire week, the White House tried to strike a deal with Manchin and Sinema regarding the Build Back Better proposal but they remain unsuccessful.
In a letter Pelosi wrote in Dear Colleague, she mentioned: “While great progress has been made in the negotiations to develop a House, Senate and White House agreement on the Build Back Better Act, more time is needed to complete the task. Our priority to create jobs in the health care, family and climate agendas is a shared value. Our Chairs are still working for clarity and consensus. Clearly, the Bipartisan Infrastructure bill will pass once we have agreement on the reconciliation bill.”
The House Speaker has said the Build Back Better bill would be approved. At first, she mentioned that she would put it to a vote on Thursday night, but she failed to do so. After that, Pelosi said the bill would be voted on Friday, but she also had to put the brakes on this plan as well.
After a meeting between the president and the Democratic caucus on Friday, it remains hazy when the House would review the proposal again.