Constant dollars

Pelosi scrambles to pass trillion dollar infrastructure bill


By Melanie Zanona, Daniella Diaz and Alex Rogers, CNN

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has worked hard behind the scenes to garner support for the roughly $ 1,000 billion infrastructure bill, personally calling Democrats and speaking to House members as the progressives threaten to fail.

Pelosi told reporters she is on the verge of bringing the two wings of her party together as she strives to secure enough votes to pass the bill passed by the Senate, which would spend hundreds of billions. dollars to upgrade roads, bridges, transit, railways, broadband, airports, ports and waterways.

Asked by CNN how she would describe this stage of negotiations, Pelosi called it “constant invigoration.”

Liberal Democrats express confidence that they have the numbers to block the bill in order to push moderates to support their top priority: a $ 3.5 trillion bill known as Build Back Better Act. This legislation would expand the child tax credit and Medicare’s ability to cover eye, hearing and dental care, fund community college and universal preschool initiatives, fight climate change, and fund health programs. elderly care and paid vacation. The $ 3.5 trillion bill would be paid, at least in part, by tax increases primarily on corporations and the wealthy.

Pelosi’s efforts to pass the infrastructure bill are complicated by West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat who said Thursday he would support a much smaller $ 1.5 trillion bill expanding the social safety net.

White House officials are regrouping with key aides from Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and try to see if they can strike a deal with Manchin and his fellow moderate Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema of the Arizona on a social safety net, according to a senator familiar with the matter.

LIVE UPDATES: Congress avoids government shutdown but infrastructure battle looms

With a divided Senate and a thin hold over the House, Democrats are leveraging their power to ensure their colleagues support their bills, which are President Joe Biden’s national agenda.

Progressives say they will withhold their support for the bipartisan infrastructure package until moderates strike a deal with them on the Build Back Better Act. But at least a dozen House Republicans are expected to vote for the roads and bridges bill, allowing Pelosi to lose some limbs on his left flank.

A source told CNN that Pelosi succeeded in overthrowing some Democrats in the “yes” column on Thursday.

“The number (of non-votes) is dropping,” the source said.

New Jersey Representative Josh Gottheimer, co-chair of the bipartisan Problem Solver Caucus, confirmed that he and Pelosi were both whipping Democrats to the ground in the latest round of votes.

“She does,” he said. “It’s Pelosi magic.”

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CNN’s Manu Raju and Jessica Dean contributed to this report.


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