Nine House Democrats signed a letter on Thursday threatening to block their party’s $3.5 trillion budget resolution until the House passes the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) has promised not to hold a vote on the bipartisan bill until the budget resolution is approved in its final form by the Senate. Pelosi’s position is in line with the House Progressive Caucus, most of whose members have urged the Speaker not to consider the bipartisan bill until the budget resolution is passed.
However, nine moderate Democrats called on the House to “immediately pass” the bipartisan bill.
“Some have suggested that we hold off on considering the Senate infrastructure bill for months—until the reconciliation process is completed. We disagree,” the group wrote. “With the livelihoods 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 added, “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.”
Among others, the letter was signed by Representatives Josh Gottheimer (D., N.J.), Henry Cuellar (D., Texas), and Carolyn Bordeaux (D., Ga.).
The Senate passed the bipartisan infrastructure bill on Tuesday. The bill allocates funds for upgrades to U.S. highways, railroads, and the nation’s power grid, as well as expansion of broadband internet access.
Democrats are also attempting to pass a $3.5 trillion budget resolution that would provide universal pre-kindergarten and free community college, expand Medicare to include vision, dental, and hearing programs, and tax incentives toward clean-energy sources.