mcloudy.png
Saturday January 22nd, 2022 10:20AM

House Dems delay huge social bill, plan infrastructure vote

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top Democrats abruptly postponed an expected House vote Friday on their 10-year, $1.85 trillion social and environment measure, as infighting between progressives and moderates once again sidetracked the pillar of President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda.

In a bid to hand him a needed victory, leaders still prepared to try pushing an accompanying $1 trillion package of road and other infrastructure projects through the chamber and to his desk. But even the fate of that popular bill, expected to create jobs in every state, was in question.

The scrambled plans cast a fresh pall over a party that’s struggled for weeks to take advantage of its control of the White House and Congress by advancing its top priorities. That’s been hard, in part because of Democrats’ slender majorities, with bitter internal divisions forcing House leaders to miss several self-imposed deadlines for votes.

“Welcome to my world,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters, adding, “We are not a lockstep party.”

Democratic leaders had hoped to see the House approve both measures Friday, producing twin triumphs for a president and party eager to rebound from this week’s deflating off-year elections and show they can govern.

The party’s gubernatorial candidates were defeated in Virginia and squeaked through in New Jersey, two blue-leaning states. Democrats can ill afford to seem in disarray a year before midterm elections that could result in Republicans regaining congressional control.

The president and first lady Jill Biden delayed plans to travel Friday evening to their house in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, so he could try breaking the logjam. He spoke to House leaders, moderates and progressives, said a White House official who described the conversations on condition of anonymity.

Among those Biden reached was Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., who leads the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which has been at the forefront of delaying the infrastructure measure for leverage. Biden asked her and her 95-member group to back the bill, said a person who recounted the conversation only on condition of anonymity.

Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., said Biden had called into a meeting he and other progressives were having and asked them to support the legislation, “subject to some assurances and commitments he was working to get.” He was not specific.

Earlier Friday, rather than allowing easy approval of the infrastructure bill to give Biden a chance for a victory lap, a group of progressives threatened to vote against it. They've long demanded that the two bills be voted on together to pressure moderates to support the larger, more expansive social measure.

With Democrats able to lose just three votes and prevail in the narrowly divided House, Pelosi said she would press ahead anyway, saying she had a “pretty good feel” for the support.

Pelosi for years has refused to hold votes on bills unless she had near certainty that they would pass to avoid embarrassing defeats.

Democrats' day fell apart when, after hours of talks, a half-dozen moderates insisted they would vote against the sprawling package of health, education, family and climate change initiatives unless the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office first provided its cost estimate for the measure.

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

Readjusting the party’s timeline for finally passing the $1.85 trillion measure to reflect political reality, Pelosi said that once the CBO figures are provided, “we’ll have a Thanksgiving gift for the American people.”

In a letter to her colleagues announcing the new voting schedule, she wrote, “The agenda that we are advancing is transformative and historic, hence challenging.”

The infrastructure measure cleared the Senate easily in August with bipartisan support, including the backing of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. The package would provide huge sums for every state for highway, mass transit, broadband, airport, drinking and waste water, power grids and other projects.

But it became a pawn in the long struggle for leverage between Democrats’ progressives and moderates. Jayapal said the White House and Congress’ nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation had provided all the fiscal information lawmakers needed for the broad bill.

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

Earlier Friday, Biden, meeting reporters to tout a strong monthly jobs report, said he would “make some calls” to lawmakers. He said he would ask them to “vote yes on both these bills right now.”

House passage of Biden’s larger measure would send it to the Senate, where it would face certain changes and more Democratic drama. That’s chiefly because of demands by Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona to contain the measure’s costs and curb or drop some of its initiatives.

Pelosi met late Thursday with Hispanic lawmakers wanting the larger measure to go as far as possible in helping immigrants remain in the U.S. Their prospects for bold action are limited by strict Senate rules, though. Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-N.Y., said Friday that they’d discussed moving on the issue in other bills and considered Pelosi an ally.

Pelosi’s strategy seemed focused on passing the most robust social and climate bill possible and leaving it to the Senate to change or drop portions its members won’t agree to. Because of Manchin and Sinema, the 2,100-page measure has been slashed to around half its initial $3.5 trillion size.

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

The package would provide large numbers of Americans with assistance to pay for health care, raising children and caring for elderly people at home.

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

Much of the package’s cost would be covered with higher taxes on wealthier Americans and large corporations.

Manchin has panned the new family leave program, which is expected to provide four weeks of paid time off, less than the 12 weeks once envisioned.

Senators are also likely to strip out a just-added immigration provision that would let 7 million immigrants in the country without legal standing apply for up to two five-year work permits.

___

Associated Press writers Lisa Mascaro, Farnoush Amiri, Kevin Freking, Aamer Madhani, Alexandra Jaffe, Mary Clare Jalonick and Brian Slodysko contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Business, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Health Care
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Biden's bet that economy would boost Democrats falls flat
The U.S. economy was supposed to help President Joe Biden and Democrats, but as of late it’s been hurting them with voters
3:35PM ( 2 minutes ago )
Former Justice Dept. lawyer cuts Jan. 6 deposition short
A former Justice Department official who aligned himself with Donald Trump after he lost the 2020 election has declined to be fully interviewed about the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol
3:32PM ( 5 minutes ago )
House Dems delay huge social bill, plan infrastructure vote
Top Democrats have abruptly postponed an expected House vote on a 10-year, $1.85 trillion social and environment measure
3:21PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Surprise NJ Senate winner says sorry amid scrutiny of posts
A truck driver who ousted the powerful New Jersey Senate president in the election has apologized for social media posts including ones where he called Islam “a false religion,” compared vaccine mandates to the Holocaust and defended rioters at the Capitol
2:46PM ( 51 minutes ago )
Inside and outside climate talks, youths urge faster action
Young people both inside and outside the U.N. climate talks are telling world leaders that concrete measures to avoid catastrophic warming can’t wait
2:42PM ( 56 minutes ago )
US employers shrugged off virus and stepped up hiring
America’s employers boosted their hiring in October, adding a solid 531,000 jobs, the most since July and a sign that the recovery from the pandemic recession is overcoming a virus-induced slowdown
2:27PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Israeli dossier on rights groups contains little evidence
A confidential Israeli dossier detailing alleged links between Palestinian human rights groups and an internationally designated terrorist organization contains little concrete evidence
1:28PM ( 2 hours ago )
Adams, Bragg win NYC election amid historic Black leadership
When New York City voters this week chose Eric Adams as the city’s next mayor and Alvin Bragg as the Manhattan district attorney, they elevated two Black men into two of the city’s most powerful elected offices
11:52AM ( 3 hours ago )
Thousands of intel officers refusing vaccine risk dismissal
Thousands of intelligence officers could soon face dismissal for failing to comply with the U.S. government’s vaccine mandate, leading to concerns from Republican lawmakers about potentially hurting agencies considered critical to national security
11:37AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online National News
A landmark as South Africa's ANC dips below 50% support
South Africa’s ruling African National Congress party has received less than 50% of votes in nationwide elections for the first time
2:14PM ( 1 hour ago )
End of daylight saving time means winter is on the horizon
Winter is on the horizon again with the end of daylight saving time coming Sunday across most of the United States
1:21PM ( 2 hours ago )
Florida considers ousting mockingbird from honorary perch
After nearly a century on its lofty perch, the northern mockingbird may be singing its last melodies as the state bird of Florida
12:03PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
GOP state officials push back on employer vaccine mandate
Republican governors, lawmakers and attorneys general are forming a wall of opposition to President Joe Biden's plan to require vaccinations or COVID-19 testing at all private employers of 100 workers or more
10:31PM ( 17 hours ago )
Biden administration sues Texas over new voting restrictions
The Biden administration is suing Texas over new voting rules that outlasted a summer of dramatic protests by Democrats
8:01PM ( 19 hours ago )
Supply chain delays disrupt California agriculture exports
California farmers say they are having trouble exporting their crops because of delays in the global supply chain
7:30PM ( 20 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
The Latest: Greta Thunberg calls UN climate talks a failure
Greta Thunberg branded the U_N_ climate talks in Glasgow so far “a failure."
1:59PM ( 1 hour ago )
Stocks up broadly on Wall Street after solid US jobs report
Stocks rose broadly in afternoon trading on Wall Street Friday as traders welcomed news of a rebound in hiring by U.S. employers last month
1:39PM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: US envoy says climate aid goal to be met in 2022
U.S. climate envoy John Kerry says developed nations will start making good on their joint pledge of $100 billion in annual climate aid to developing nations next year
1:36PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Business
The Latest: Kerry: US, Russia, China having meaningful talks
U.S. climate envoy John Kerry says American climate negotiators are having meaningful talks with their Russian and Chinese counterparts at the U.N. summit in Glasgow, Scotland
10:20AM ( 5 hours ago )
Wall Street opens broadly higher after solid US jobs report
Stocks are opening broadly higher Friday as traders welcome news of a rebound in hiring by U.S. employers last month
9:45AM ( 5 hours ago )
The Latest: Shipping firms seek technology to cut emissions
Hundreds of environmental activists have gathered in a Glasgow park to call on governments at the nearby U.N. climate talks to step up their action against global warming
7:31AM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
GOP pushback on employer vaccine mandate underway in states
Republican governors, lawmakers and attorneys general already are forming a wall of opposition to President Joe Biden's plan to require vaccinations or COVID-19 testing at all private employers of 100 workers or more
2:44PM ( 1 day ago )
AstraZeneca pulls request for Swiss approval of COVID shot
AstraZeneca says it is withdrawing its application for approval of its COVID-19 vaccine in Switzerland because the country’s medical regulator wanted to restrict its use to people over age 50
9:24AM ( 1 day ago )
UK authorizes Merck antiviral pill, 1st shown to treat COVID
Britain has granted a conditional authorization to Merck’s coronavirus antiviral
8:54AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Health Care
Tigray, other groups form alliance against Ethiopia's leader
Tigray forces have joined with other armed and opposition groups in an alliance against Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to seek a political transition after a year of devastating war
3:17PM ( 22 minutes ago )
Witness: Kenosha victim was belligerent but no threat
A witness at Kyle Rittenhouse's murder trial says the first man shot on the streets of Kenosha was acting “belligerently" but did not appear to pose a serious threat to anyone
3:16PM ( 24 minutes ago )
University changes course; professors may testify in lawsuit
The University of Florida is reversing its position, saying it will allow three professors to serve as experts in a lawsuit challenging a new state election law
3:02PM ( 38 minutes ago )
After long COVID battle, Iowa man decides to wed in hospital
Jonathan Johnson spent weeks on a ventilator battling COVID-19, then decided to get married — in the hospital
2:58PM ( 42 minutes ago )