- The Washington Times - Friday, November 5, 2021

President Joe Biden scrapped plans to travel to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, on Friday after far-left Democrats rebelled against a push to pass his $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal.

Mr. Biden, who owns a beach house in the ritzy Delaware enclave, was scheduled to depart the White House for the weekend. Those plans were jettisoned at the last moment as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, was forced to fight off a rebellion from her majority’s left-flank.

The speaker triggered the revolt by caving to a cadre of House Democrats and postponing a vote on the White House’s multi-trillion-dollar social welfare bill, while pushing forward on infrastructure.



At the moment, Mr. Biden is making personal calls to far-left lawmakers in an effort to drum up support for the infrastructure bill.

“He’s working very hard to get everybody there and urged us to work in that same spirit,” said Rep. Jared Huffman, a California Democrat.

Mrs. Pelosi had long pledged that measure and the social welfare bill would move together or not at all. That promise proved impossible after moderates threatened to withhold their support from the social welfare bill until the Congressional Budget Office was able to analyze its full cost.

“We had hoped to be able to bring both bills to the floor today,” said Mrs. Pelosi. “Some members want more clarification or validation of numbers … we honor that request.”

Mrs. Pelosi’s decision to renege set off far-left lawmakers, specifically the 98-member Congressional Progressive Caucus.

“If our colleagues still want to wait for a CBO score, we would agree to give them that time — after which point we can vote on both bills together,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal, Washington Democrat, who chairs the CPC.

At the moment, progressives are threatening to kill the infrastructure if Mrs. Pelosi opts to hold a standalone vote. The speaker appears willing to take the risk, however.

“I do believe there are a large number of members of the progressive caucus who will vote for the bill,” said Mrs. Pelosi. “I have the speaker’s secret whip count.”

• Haris Alic can be reached at halic@washingtontimes.com.

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