Dem House Budget chair hints at possible Pelosi strategy for infrastructure bill

September 21, 2021

Rep. John Yarmuth: ‘Absolutely mandatory’ to raise debt ceiling

House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., discussed how House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may handle an upcoming vote on a bipartisan infrastructure bill.

House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., said Sunday that the "current plan" remains for the House to vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill on Sept. 27, but that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may end up delaying it even if it passes.

Pelosi said in August that she was "committing" to pass the infrastructure bill on that date, but she had previously said she would not hold a vote on it until after the Senate voted on a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill. When asked on "Fox News Sunday" whether the House will actually hold a vote next week, Yarmuth admitted that the answer may not be straightforward.

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"The only answer I can give you is that that is the current plan, the vote on the infrastructure bill on Sept. 27," Yarmuth said. "Now, there's some other qualifications to that. Under the rules, the speaker does not have to actually advance the bill – if we pass it in the House – does not actually have to send it to the president for signature. She can hold onto that bill for a while."

This would allow Pelosi to let the bill progress while still being able to hold it back and wait for action on the reconciliation package.

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"There's some flexibility in terms of how we mesh the two mandates," he continued. "One of them is to vote on that on the 27th, the second one is to not pass one without the other."

Some Democrats in Congress such as New York Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman, have threatened to vote against the infrastructure bill if the vote takes place without the reconciliation bill passing first.

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Currently, Democrats appear to be lacking sufficient votes in the Senate to pass the reconciliation package, which only needs a simple majority – all 50 Democrats plus Vice President Kamala Harris as the tie-breaker – to pass. Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., have both opposed it publicly, but President Biden met with each of them to discuss the matter.

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