On Tuesday, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) urged House Democrats to vote against the upcoming infrastructure bill on Thursday, unless Congress first passes the controversial $3.5 trillion reconciliation package.
“Let’s be crystal clear. If the bipartisan infrastructure bill is passed on its own on Thursday, this will be in violation of an agreement that was reached within the Democratic Caucus in Congress,” Sen. Sanders tweeted. “More importantly, it will end all leverage that we have to pass a major reconciliation bill. That means there will be no serious effort to address the long-neglected crises facing the working families of our country, the children, the elderly, the sick and the poor.”
“It also means that Congress will continue to ignore the existential threat to our country and planet with regard to climate change,” the senator continued. “I strongly urge my House colleagues to vote against the bipartisan infrastructure bill until Congress passes a strong reconciliation bill.”
I strongly urge my House colleagues to vote against the bipartisan infrastructure bill until Congress passes a strong reconciliation bill.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) September 28, 2021
In August, Sen. Sanders voted in favor of the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which passed 69 votes to 30 in the U.S. Senate. The senator’s latest comments followed news that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly told fellow Democrats during a private caucus meeting that a vote on the infrastructure bill cannot be held up by the reconciliation package.
“She conceded that the final reconciliation package would not be ready by Thursday — when the House is set to vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill — despite previous promises that the two crucial pieces of legislation would be passed together,” reported The Hill. “She specifically said the Senate’s demand that the price tag of the $3.5 trillion package ‘had to come down’ threw the timing in question.”
Last week, Sanders joined ten Democratic Senators who issued a statement “urging party leadership to stay on course with its original ‘dual track’ plan to pass a $3.5 trillion social spending bill in both chambers before taking up a bipartisan infrastructure deal in the House.” In addition to Senate Budget Committee Chairman Sanders, Sens. Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Mazie Horono, and Elizabeth Warren were among those who issued the statement.
“Congress must not undercut the president’s proposals that will create new opportunities for America’s families and workers,” they said. “The House of Representatives should wait to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill until the budget reconciliation bill, which enacts the rest of the President’s Build Back Better agenda, is sent to the president’s desk.”
Meanwhile, as The Daily Wire reported, “Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) told CNN’s Jake Tapper on ‘State of the Union’ on Sunday that Republicans will not be voting for Democrats’ $3.5 trillion social spending bill and that Democrats do not need Republicans to be able to pass the bill.”
“I will certainly be voting no if the Democrats insist on combining the debt ceiling increase or suspension with the continuing operations of the government,” Toomey said. “And there is no calamity that’s going to happen, Jake. If that were even a serious risk, don’t you think the equity markets from last week, rather than fully recovering after the scare that came out of Evergrande in China, rather than fully recovering, as they did, maybe they would have traded off? I think that’s because the millions of investors across America know that no such calamity is going to occur.”