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Nancy Pelosi Suggests Democrats Will Vote On Spending Bills This Week

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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Democrat House members in a memo on Saturday that this week is going to be a “time of intensity” as she leaders her party in an effort to pass a trio of major spending bills amounting to trillions of dollars.

“September 30th is a date fraught with meaning,” Pelosi wrote. “This week, we must pass a Continuing Resolution, Build Back Better Act and the BIF.”

That date marks the end of the current fiscal year (2021); it is also when several programs are set to expire unless they are funded again with new legislation.

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“The next few days will be a time of intensity,” Pelosi noted further. “We sent a CR to the Senate and are awaiting their action to avoid a shutdown. We must pass the BIF to avoid the expiration of the surface transportation funding on September 30. And we must stay on schedule to pass the reconciliation bill so that we can Build Back Better.”

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The Hill noted further:

Democrats hope to pass the plan — which is expected to unlock funding for Medicare expansions, spending boosts for education, public housing and other party-backed priorities — using a process called reconciliation that will allow them to bypass the Senate legislative filibuster.

However, Democrats have struggled to remain united amid spending negotiations over the partisan package ahead of a planned vote on the smaller, physical infrastructure plan set for Monday.

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Far-left Democrats have been threatening to vote against the bipartisan package unless the bigger $3.5 trillion spending bill gets voted on first, but it’s not clear they are willing to follow through on it.

Meantime, there are other potential obstacles, including in the Senate, where every Democrat will need to sign onto each bill in order to get them passed under reconciliation, which just requires a simple majority.

“Democrats have been struggling to pass President Joe Biden’s economic agenda, including the massive tax and spending bill that would expand education, health care and childcare support, address the climate crisis and make further investments in infrastructure,” CNN reported Saturday after the House Budget Committee passed the massive bill.

“The bill has raised concerns among moderates who worry some of the measures, including on drug pricing and climate, go too far, as progressives say they’ve already compromised enough. Republicans are united in their opposition to it. During its Saturday meeting, the House Budget committee could not change what other committees have already voted to approve,” the outlet continued.

One of those opposed is West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, who has said for months the $3.5 trillion measure is far too expensive for him to support.

“As the bill exists today, it needs to be changed,” he said in April, in an interview with West Virginia Metro News host Hoppy Kercheval.

“If I don’t vote to get on it, it’s not going anywhere. So we’re going to have some leverage here. And it’s more than just me, Hoppy. There are six or seven other Democrats who feel very strongly about this. We have to be competitive and we’re not going to throw caution to the wind,” he said.

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In addition to the bill’s massive spending, Manchin has also voiced opposition to a provision to raise the corporate tax rate from 21 percent, a level set by then-President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax reform plan, back up to 28 percent.

“We have to have our Republican friends work with us too,” he said. “They just can’t be against everything thinking this going to be political posturing we are going to take for the 2022 elections.”

Adds The Hill: “Democrats can afford only three defections for the reconciliation plan in the House, which is expected to receive zero votes from Republicans.”

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