- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 29, 2021

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has signaled that she is open to again delaying vote now set for Thursday on President Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill.

If Mrs. Pelosi postpones the infrastructure vote, it would be the second time since Monday that she made this move to avoid a rift between progressive and moderate Democrats killing the legislation.

“We’ll take it one step at a time,” she told reporters Wednesday at the Capitol. “I can’t keep a commitment that the Senate has made impossible to do, but what I have also said is we’re not proceeding with anything that doesn’t have an agreement between the House and the Senate.”

Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, is caught in the middle. Progressives will not vote for the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill without it being paired to Mr. Biden’s $3.5 trillion social welfare and climate change package. The party’s more moderate members want to vote for the infrastructure bill now and deal with the bigger, liberal bill later.

As of now, the progressive caucus claims at least 60 of its members will vote against the infrastructure bill as stand-alone legislation.

The larger spending bill is unlikely to pass the Senate, and Speaker Pelosi told her rank and file she does not want to bring anything to the floor for a vote that will not pass in the Senate.

Rep. Dan Kildee, Michigan Democrat and a member of the speaker’s leadership team, told The Washington Times that, as the majority, they’ll only put bills on the floor that will pass.

 He also conceded that it is “hard to say” if they are ready to vote on the infrastructure bill by Thursday.

“I want to get it done. I prefer to get it done, but each of us has to decide for ourselves whether we vote tactically or we vote based on whether we support the policy,” Mr. Kildee said. “I wish more members would just decide they’re going to vote on what they think is good policy. If they did, I believe we wouldn’t have any trouble passing.”

A delay is guaranteed to anger the party’s moderates after Mrs. Pelosi gave them her word that the bill would get a vote this week. She already broke her promise to vote on it Monday.

• Kery Murakami can be reached at kmurakami@washingtontimes.com.

• Kerry Picket can be reached at kpicket@washingtontimes.com.

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