WASHINGTON — Nine House Democrats are warning Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., that they won’t vote for a budget resolution until the House passes the bipartisan infrastructure bill advanced by the Senate this week.
“With the livelihoods of hardworking American families at stake, we simply can’t afford months of unnecessary delays and risk squandering this once-in-a-century, bipartisan infrastructure package. It’s time to get shovels in the ground and people to work,” the group wrote in a letter to the speaker.
They continued, “We will not consider voting for a budget resolution until the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passes the House and is signed into law.”
The letter, dated Thursday, was led by Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., the co-chair of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, and signed by several of the group's members. The other who signed the letter include Reps. Carolyn Bourdeaux of Georgia, Filemon Vela of Texas, Jared Golden of Maine, Henry Cueller of Texas, Vicente Gonzales of Texas, Ed Case of Hawaii, Jim Costa of California, and Kurt Schrader of Oregon.
The threat complicates Pelosi’s plan not to bring the infrastructure bill for a vote until the Senate passes a sweeping, $3.5 trillion bill to expand the nation's social safety net, which Democrats in that chamber aim to write by mid-September. Since Democrats hold a narrow majority in the House, leadership might not be able to follow through on their two-track strategy to pass both bills if members of their caucus are at odds over which measure should advance first.
The House is planning to cut its recess short and has alerted members to return to Washington on Aug. 23 to vote on the Senate-passed budget resolution used to guide the $3.5 trillion bill.
Meanwhile, the Congressional Progressive Caucus in the House said this week that a majority of its 96 members will not vote for the infrastructure bill until the Senate passes the broader bill, which Democrats in that chamber can do with a simple majority under special budget rules.
“Our Caucus is clear: the bipartisan bill will only be passed if a package of social, human, and climate infrastructure — reflecting long-standing Democratic priorities — is passed simultaneously through budget reconciliation,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., said in a letter to Pelosi on Tuesday.