Nine moderate House Democrats vowed in a letter released early Friday to not vote for Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget until the bipartisan infrastructure package is signed into law.
The letter, dated Thursday and addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, threatens the Democrats’ strategy to take up both infrastructure and the budget simultaneously. Progressives already conditioned their support for the bipartisan package on the House passing the budget, and Pelosi pledged not to vote on the infrastructure bill until the Senate passes the budget in an attempt to hold her own caucus together.
“The country is clamoring for infrastructure investment and commonsense, bipartisan solutions,” the letter adds. “This legislation does both, and will help us compete with China and others in the global economy.”
The infrastructure bill puts approximately $1.2 trillion toward improving America’s roads, bridges, ports, drinking water pipes and broadband internet access. The Senate passed the infrastructure bill Tuesday with 69 senators voting in favor.
“With the lives of hardworking American families at stake, we simply can’t afford months of unnecessary delays and risk squandering this once-in-a-century, bipartisan infrastructure package,” the letter says. “It’s time to get shovels in the ground and people to work.”
“We will not consider voting for a budget resolution until the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passes the House and is signed into law.”
The Senate adopted a budget framework early Wednesday on a party-line vote following a 14-hour “vote-a-rama,” where senators offered dozens of non-binding, politically tricky amendments. The budget addresses the Democrats’ major priorities including climate change, child care and raising taxes on corporations and wealthy Americans.
This budget is exempt from a Senate filibuster, meaning Democrats can pass it without any GOP support, so long as all 50 Democrat senators vote in favor and no more than three House Democrats vote against it.
The letter is signed by Democratic Reps. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, Carolyn Bourdeaux of Georgia, Filemon Vela of Texas, Jarden Golden of Maine, Henry Cuellar of Texas, Vicente González of Texas, Ed Case of Hawaii, Jim Costa of California and Kurt Schrader of Oregon.
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