Pelosi sets vote on Biden's infrastructure agenda despite moderate Dems' revolt

The House is expected to vote Tuesday afternoon on a procedural measure that will advance key parts of President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda after a group of moderate Democrats threatened to unravel it all.

House Democratic leaders had attempted to pull off a risky maneuver late Monday to approve a $3.5 trillion budget framework that will move along Biden’s infrastructure plan, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was forced to abandon that plan at the 11th hour after negotiations fell flat around midnight.

On Tuesday, Democrats reconvened behind closed doors and announced a deal was close to emerging between the warring factions.

“I’m sorry that we couldn’t land the plane last night, and that you all had to wait. But that’s just part of the legislative progress. I think we’re close to landing the plane,” Pelosi said to her Democratic colleagues, according to a source familiar with discussions.

PHOTO: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is trailed by reporters as she departs a meeting with fellow House Democrats at the Capitol in Washington, Aug. 23, 2021.

The emerging deal is that leadership will likely guarantee a vote in the final week of September on the bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill under a “sense of Congress” resolution. They will also deem and pass the budget resolution as part of the procedural vote Tuesday.

“Our intent is to include a sense of Congress resolution in the rule that says the House will consider the infrastructure bill by Sept 27; moderates wanted a date certain, and this meets that request,” a senior Democratic aide told ABC News.

The House is expected to vote on a procedural rule Tuesday that advances the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and critical voting rights legislation, but they will also tack on a budget resolution that unlocks democrats’ ability to craft a much larger bill that they can pass with a simple majority of Democratic support, under a process called “reconciliation.”

Pelosi’s strategy to consolidate the budget resolution’s final passage with the procedural rule is expected to pay off in the face of growing discontent among some moderates who had demanded a standalone vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill that passed the Senate earlier this month.

Pelosi has long vowed to hold on to that bipartisan bill until a much larger, $3.5 trillion “human” infrastructure bill filled with Democratic priorities is passed first.

Up until Tuesday morning, it was unclear if democrats had the votes to pass the procedural rule at all.

Moderate Democrats could buck leadership and vote against the procedural rule as a form of protest but leadership essentially is daring them to do so. If they vote no on the procedural rule, they would be voting against the bipartisan infrastructure bill and a landmark voting rights bill, all of which are key Democratic priorities.

Pelosi urged Democrats to stand united on the budget resolution while subtly criticizing moderates who vowed to block the bill from moving forward during a closed-door caucus meeting Monday evening,

“It is unfortunate in my view that we have to have a discussion about process, when we want to have a discussion of policy,” Pelosi said, according to a source in the room.

“Right now, we have an opportunity to pass something so substantial for our country, so transformative we haven’t seen anything like it,” she said.

“Our people who put a Democrat in the White House and Democratic Congress are watching to see how we meet their needs,” she added.

“We cannot squander this majority and this Democratic White House by not passing what we need to do,” she said.

Later Tuesday, the House is also expected to cast a final vote on the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act before it heads off – again – for the rest of its summer recess.

Once the House conclude business on Tuesday, members are not expected to return until mid-September.

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