House MPs delay huge social bill, schedule vote on infrastructure | News, Sports, Jobs

WASHINGTON (AP) – Top Democrats abruptly postponed an expected House vote on their 10-year $ 1.85 trillion social and environmental measure on Friday, as leaders’ long struggle to balance the demands of progressives and Moderates has once again been the mainstay of President Joe Biden’s national agenda. .

In an effort to give him a needed victory, the executives were always ready to try to get a trillion dollar package of road projects and other infrastructure projects through the chamber and into his office.

But even the fate of this popular bill was uncertain. Progressives threatened to vote against, continuing to demand that the two measures be passed together to pressure moderates to support the larger and broader social measure. It seemed possible the Democrats would also delay the infrastructure vote to avoid an embarrassing defeat.

The muddled plans cast a new veil on a party that has been trying for weeks to find common ground on its vast array of health, education, family and climate change initiatives. It has been difficult, in part because the slim Democrats’ majority means they need the support of all Senate Democrats and cannot have more than three defectors in the House.

Democratic leaders were hoping to see the House approve the two measures on Friday, producing a double triumph for a president and a party keen to bounce back from this week’s disappointing election and show they can rule.

But those plans were dashed when, after hours of talks, half a dozen moderates insisted they would vote against the sprawling social and climate bill unless the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office provided support. ‘first its estimate of the costs of the measure.

Democratic leaders have said it will take days or more. With Friday’s delay and plans by lawmakers to leave town for a week’s break, that could mean budget estimates would be ready by the time a vote takes place.

“In order to advance the president’s vision, it is important that we advance the bipartisan infrastructure framework and the Build Back Better Act today,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Wrote to her colleagues, using the White House names for both measurements. She added, “The program we are advancing is transformative and historic, and therefore difficult. “

The infrastructure measure cleared the Senate easily in August with bipartisan support, including backing from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. The package would provide huge sums to each state for highways, railways, public transport, broadband, airports, drinking and wastewater, power grids, ports and other projects.

But this bill has become a pawn in the long struggle for influence between progressives and moderate Democrats. Progressives have said they will support infrastructure legislation only if the two measures are passed together.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., Who heads the 95-member Congressional Progressive Caucus, re-launched that timing link on Friday, saying the non-partisan White House-Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation provided all the tax information that lawmakers needed for the general bill. .

“If our six colleagues still want to wait for a CBO score, we would agree to give them that time – after which we can vote on the two bills together,” she wrote. This strongly suggested that at least some progressives would vote against the infrastructure bill on Friday.

That would sink the infrastructure measure unless enough Republicans had backing for it to pass anyway, which seemed unlikely. This could mean that Pelosi, who has long refused to vote on bills unless she knows Democrats will win, would choose that path again and decide not to allow an infrastructure vote until both bills are ready.

Earlier on Friday, Biden, meeting with reporters to tout a strong monthly jobs report, said he was returning to the Oval Office “Make calls” to legislators. He said he would ask them to “vote yes on these two bills now.”

Democrats are eager for quick achievements days after an election defeat for governor in Virginia and disappointing contests elsewhere.

The House’s passage of Biden’s greater measure would send her to the Senate, where she would face some changes and more Democratic drama. It is mainly because of the demands of the senses. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona to contain the costs of the measure and to curb or abandon some of its initiatives.

But the House’s approval of the smaller bipartisan infrastructure measure would send it straight to the White House, where Biden would be sure to take a victory lap. This bill should create mountains of jobs.

Pelosi met with Hispanic lawmakers on Thursday evening who wanted the broadest measure to go as far as possible to help immigrants stay in the United States. Their prospects for bold action, however, are limited by strict Senate rules. Representative Adriano Espaillat, DN.Y., said on Friday that they had discussed the development of the issue in other bills and viewed Pelosi as an ally.

Pelosi’s strategy appeared to be focused on getting the strongest social and climate bill possible in his chamber, and then leaving it to the Senate to adjust or remove the parts his members wouldn’t agree to. not. In late adjustments to the bill to fix the votes, the House Rules Committee approved revisions to a national and local tax deduction and other matters.

Half the size of Biden’s original $ 3.5 trillion package, the bill is over 2,100 pages and supports progressive lawmakers, even though it’s smaller than they wanted.

Republicans oppose the measure as too costly and damaging to the economy.

The package would provide large numbers of Americans with help paying for health care, raising children, and caring for the elderly in their homes. Prescription drug costs would be lower as Medicare would for the first time be able to negotiate lower prices with drug companies for certain drugs, a long-sought Democratic priority.

The package would provide some $ 555 billion in tax breaks encouraging cleaner energy and electric vehicles. Democrats have added key provisions in recent days, reinstating a new paid family leave program and work permits for immigrants.

Much of the cost of the package would be covered by higher taxes on wealthier Americans and big business.

Manchin criticized the new family leave program, which is expected to provide four weeks of paid leave, less than the 12 weeks previously envisaged.

Senators are also likely to remove a newly added immigration provision that would allow 7 million immigrants to the country without legal status to apply for up to two five-year work permits.

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