House expected to hold votes on Build Back Better and infrastructure on Friday


Democratic House leaders had hoped for a vote on the economic package on Thursday evening, but the main sticking points remained into the evening.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the rules committee will meet on Thursday to deal with an amendment to the social spending bill. Earlier today, in a closed-door meeting with Democrats, she said her plan was to vote Thursday night and then hold a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill on Friday morning, two sources say. . However, it was not clear whether Democrats had the votes to move forward with this timeline.

Biden had several calls with House Democrats on Thursday as leaders pushed to lock votes for the economic and climate package, according to several people familiar with the calls.

But Democratic lawmakers say a number of important provisions are still being finalized, including state and local tax deductions, immigration policy, and prescription drug pricing.

Additionally, some Democrats have asked for a delay until there can be a Congressional Budget Office score.

The situation is fluid, and Democratic House leaders have already had to twice delay their timeline for passing the bipartisan infrastructure bill.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has informed House lawmakers that members will be taking a lunch break and said members will have an hour’s notice if further votes are scheduled for Thursday evening.

Representative Henry Cuellar, a blue dog and Democrat from Texas, said there were enough moderate Democrats who would cast a procedural vote to speak on Thursday night of the $ 1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act, saying the rule “will not pass” if it happens at that time.

He said there were outstanding issues in the bill to be resolved, including many members who want to know more about what is in it and get data from the Congressional Budget Office on its cost.

“At the moment there are enough votes, in my opinion, to vote no on the rule,” Cuellar said.

Biden works the phones

Biden on Thursday called Democratic Representative Abigail Spanberger of Virginia to ask her to back the $ 1.9 trillion climate and economic package, according to several familiar sources.

The call comes as the Democratic House leadership strives to muster enough votes to pass the bill and after Democrats suffered a deadly election defeat in Spanberger’s home state earlier this week when they lost the governor’s mansion.

A source close to Biden’s appeals said he did not explicitly advocate a Thursday night vote in his appeals to members, but asked them to vote yes whenever a vote was called. Biden, throughout the process, has made it clear that he has full confidence in Pelosi to determine the timeline and is aware that nothing will be scheduled until the votes are locked.

The appeal to Spanberger underscores the realization inside the White House that moderates in particular are frustrated – and in many cases suspicious – of the process up to this point.

Many moderates have wanted a vote on the infrastructure bill for weeks and are enraged that progressives have kept this bill above demands to move forward with the more bill. wide on the tandem social safety net.

House leaders call for a vote

Pelosi’s comments to his caucus are the latest sign of how House leaders want to move quickly to get Biden’s two key priorities through the House before the end of the week.

At his weekly press conference later Thursday, Pelosi said: “We are going to pass both bills, but to do that we have to vote for both bills, and that’s where we are. “

She wouldn’t say she still had the votes to introduce the bills. “Did you see the whip count? Because I’m going to tell you something about Mr. Clyburn, he’s keeping it by the waistcoat,” Pelosi said.

Majority House Whip Jim Clyburn, a Democrat from South Carolina, told reporters he was meeting with his staff to see if Democrats have the votes for the economic bill.

He said they would not table a bill if he did not have the votes.

The Economic Agenda Bill, often referred to as Build Back Better legislation, is a broad plan to expand the social safety net that would tackle climate change, provide support to families, expand social security access to health care and adopt other elements of the liberal agenda. It would then have to be considered and passed in the Senate.

The bipartisan $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure bill was passed by the Senate in August and is still awaiting a vote in the House. Passage of this bill has already been delayed as Progressives insisted that the two measures move in tandem, but now Progressives are signaling that they are ready to vote for both laws this week.

Still unclear if Democrats have the voices

As of Thursday night, a vote had not yet been officially scheduled for the House to pass the Build Back Better Act, and it was unclear whether leaders had the votes to pass the spending bill.

In a potential sign of the challenge to lock in the votes, Democratic Representative Ed Case of Hawaii, a leader of the moderate Blue Dogs, told CNN he had not changed his position: there must be an official Congressional score. Non-partisan Budget Office before they can vote for the $ 1.75 trillion economy package.

“It’s all in the letter,” he said, referring to a letter he and other moderates signed outlining their demands before considering voting for the bill.

When asked if he had changed his position, Case replied: “No”.

Problem Solvers Caucus co-chair Josh Gottheimer told CNN they “do not yet have a final bill” when asked if he was ready to vote on the broader economic package on Thursday. evening.

“There are still pieces being developed, as you know, in different areas,” he said.

When asked if he still wanted a CBO score, Gottheimer told reporters, “We’ve asked for some CBO tables. We’re waiting for that. We think this is information we are owed. of things that we think are really important to make sure we go through with it. “

The New Jersey Democrat also said his party is expected to learn from Tuesday’s election that “people expect us to act. They expect action.”

He added: “We could vote this week on the bipartisan infrastructure package that was passed by the Senate there in August. He’s sitting here waiting for action. It would be a great place where we can start. to act.”

Hoyer said: “I don’t think we’re going to leave until we decide what we’re going to do with these bills,” when asked if the chamber would stay in town this weekend if it had not yet voted on the two bills. .

When asked if they would have the votes to pass the $ 1.75 trillion bill if he now put it upstairs, Hoyer replied, “I don’t know that is the case. . “

This story was updated with additional developments on Thursday.

CNN’s Jessica Dean, Lauren Fox, Phil Mattingly, Manu Raju, Kristin Wilson, Annie Grayer and Morgan Rimmer contributed.


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