Congress

Pelosi Schedules Final Vote For Bipartisan Spending

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

Good news -- Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has committed to holding a final vote on the bipartisan infrastructure spending bill on Thursday of this week.

It remains to be seen what a final reconciliation spending bill will look like, and some Democrats have said they won't vote for the smaller bipartisan bill unless reconciliation is passed, but Pelosi appears to be confident that she has enough votes.

In a letter to members of her caucus, Pelosi said she wanted to pass the bill Thursday before existing surface transportation funding authorization expires.

In an ABC interview on Sunday, the speaker pledged to pass the bill this week.

"I'm never bringing a bill to the floor that doesn't have the votes," she told ABC's "This Week." "You cannot choose the date. You have to go when you have the votes in a reasonable time, and we will."

I understand why some Democrats would say they won't vote for this if the reconciliation bill arrives late, but I think it would be foolish not to.

The bipartisan infrastructure spending bill is a $1 trillion bill that is split between leftover funds included in coronavirus relief legislation and nearly $600 billion in new spending. And we don't really do infrastructure in this country so even the smaller bipartisan bill will still be the largest infrastructure bill that any of us have ever seen.

My own personal, close-to-home interest in the bipartisan bill is new spending for Amtrak that could return service to my area for the first time since 1979. I wasn't even born yet the last time passenger rail service was available in this area of the country.

Even if the final reconciliation bill is smaller than originally intended -- a possibility that Pelosi herself is strongly hinting at -- passing the bipartisan bill is a significant victory for the Biden White House all on its own.

Moderate and progressive Democrats have clashed over the size and scope of the package, but Pelosi said Sunday it "seems self-evident" the bill's price tag will drop.

"Everybody, overwhelmingly, and I think even those who want a smaller number, support the vision of the president," she added.