OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Things are not working the way House Speaker and California Rep. Nancy Pelosi has wanted them to this past week.
On Thursday, during the day, she insisted that she was optimistic and that Democrats were on pace to pass the infrastructure bill by that evening.
But as she had to do on Monday, the Speaker, again, had to postpone the vote because she could not get her caucus on the same page, but The White House still stands behind her, ABC News reported.
“The President is grateful to Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer for their extraordinary leadership, and to Members from across the Democratic Caucus who have worked so hard the past few days to try to reach an agreement on how to proceed on the Infrastructure Bill and the Build Back Better plan,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said. “A great deal of progress has been made this week, and we are closer to an agreement than ever. But we are not there yet, and so, we will need some additional time to finish the work, starting tomorrow morning first thing.”
“While Democrats do have some differences, we share common goals of creating good union jobs, building a clean energy future, cutting taxes for working families and small businesses, helping to give those families breathing room on basic expenses—and doing it without adding to the deficit, by making those at the top pay their fair share,” she said.
Progressive Democrats are sticking by their word to not pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill unless it is accompanied by the more expensive $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill, as they have been saying they would.
“Nobody should be surprised that we are where we are, because we’ve been telling you that for 3 1/2 months,” Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who heads the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said, The New York Times reported.
As she left the Capitol on Friday morning Pelosi said to the gathered reporters that “we’re not trillions of dollars apart” and said, “there will be a vote today.”
But it had to be a tough break for her ego to have to postpone the vote again. And while she insists that there will be a vote on Friday, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin has stood firm that he is not budging from the $1.5 trillion reconciliation deal he wants.
“I’m trying to make sure they understand that I’m at 1.5 trillion,” Sen. Manchin said on Thursday night as he left the office of Senate Majority Leader and New York Sen. Charles Schumer where he met with officials from The White House. “I don’t see a deal tonight — I really don’t.”
Manchin proclaimed that he is not as liberal as some of his counterparts, The Washington Post reported.
“I’ve never been a liberal in any way, shape or form,” he said. “I don’t fault any of them who believe that they’re much more progressive and much more liberal. God bless ’em. … For them to get theirs — elect more liberals.”
Moderate New York Rep. Kathleen Rice was furious that the vote had been postponed again.
“Leadership made a very clear promise to people that this bill was going to be put on the floor for a vote,” she said. “And if they go back on that, that’s a breach of trust I don’t know if this caucus is going to be able to recover from.”
But progressive Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar was insistent that the reconciliation bill be passed.
“The majority of the agenda that the president ran on that delivered us the House, the Senate and the White House is in the Build Back Better agenda,” she said, speaking of the infrastructure deal and the reconciliation bill before Congress. “If we fail to deliver that promise, we have failed the American people.”