As moderates on both sides encourage House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to put the collaborative construction measure to a vote, moderate GOP Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick indicated Monday there are probably sufficient GOP votes to override the majority of Democrats promising to stop it.
There is Always the Question of Support in the House Where Party Lines are Blurry
Fitzpatrick, a co-chairman of the Congressional Innovators Caucus, also cautioned that even if Pelosi delayed the bill’s discussion (or attaches it to Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget proposal that they seek to approve through a reconciliation bill), Republican voters may swing against it.
There is strong Republican backing if the BIF is stand-alone, the representative told reporters. That momentum would crumble if the BIF was attached to any legislation or placed on hold. The remarks offer the nine centrist congressional Democrats who want Pelosi to schedule a vote on the $1 trillion development measure even more power as they try to pass this through the House.
🚨NEW, thread: moderate Dems get backup from GOP in bid to squeeze Pelosi, force bipartisan infrastructure vote @RepBrianFitz tells me there is likely enough GOP support overcome progressive Dems vowing to block bipartisan infrastructure bill.
— Jacqui Heinrich (@JacquiHeinrich) August 17, 2021
The centrists, lead by Josh Gottheimer, its other Problem Solvers Group co-chairman, have threatened to vote against the legislature’s newly enacted funding bill until the infrastructure package is passed into law.
The funding bill will start the negotiating process, which would allow Democrats to bypass the Senate roadblock and enact the $3.5 trillion expenditure package without Republican support. Gottheimer’s group stated in a statement on Saturday that it still needs a vote on infrastructure first, albeit not in the same strident words as in their original message.
In the debate over whether Biden's infrastructure bill is really about infrastructure, few seem to have noticed the racist preferences built into the infrastructure provisions themselves. pic.twitter.com/pBAXqRCS2u
— Dinesh D'Souza (@DineshDSouza) August 16, 2021
Moderate Democrats Threaten to Stall the Bill
Nevertheless, House progressives have threatened to stall the infrastructure bill until the Senate releases a budget resolution, which is expected late next month. This leaves liberals at odds on which portion of President Biden’s program to move first; meanwhile, their House majority of 220-212 leaves them susceptible to rebellions on critical votes.
The only way to know if conservatives have quite enough support to defeat liberals who claim they won’t vote for the infrastructure program is if Pelosi actually brings it up for a vote, something she says she won’t. It’s also uncertain how many GOP votes Fitzpatrick anticipates the infrastructure bill will receive.
Take that $1.1 trillion infrastructure bill and add to it a second bill that’s more than triple the cost, waste, and government expansion—a $3.5 trillion budget bill (the largest in history) that “has to” be passed along with the infrastructure bill. https://t.co/B01kiVW8OM
— The Daily Signal (@DailySignal) August 17, 2021
The Problem Solvers Group, which comprises 28 conservative members, supposedly acts as a cluster on bills it supports. However, it is not certain that all members will support the bill. Still, a senior Democrat staffer told Fox News last week that dozens among dozens of Democrats will vote against BIF if that Senate approves reconciliation.
Pelosi also screamed at the nine centrists in a conference call Monday night, thus according to Politico. She made it very clear their threats to vote against the funding bill hasn’t affected her, telling Politico that now isn’t the time for amateur hour.”
Nonetheless, Fitzpatrick’s remarks on Monday increased pressure on Pelosi from House moderates to pass the $1 trillion infrastructure deal that Biden wholeheartedly supports.