“Some have suggested that we hold off on considering the Senate infrastructure bill for months,” the group said. “We disagree.”
The lawmakers threatened Democratic budget priorities if House leadership does not put the bipartisan measure first.
“With the livelihoods of hardworking American families at stake, we simply can’t afford months of unnecessary delays and risk squandering this once-in-a-century bipartisan infrastructure package. It’s time to get shovels in the ground and people to work,” read the letter, published by Punchbowl News.
The $1 trillion infrastructure bill was a major victory for President Joe Biden, who campaigned in part on fixing America’s aging roads and bridges, crumbling public transit and other essentials, like protections from climate change. It won over nearly 20 Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), by a vote of 69-30.
The bill now faces the House. But Pelosi has said that she will not allow it to pass until the Senate OKs a sweeping budget package that would strengthen the country’s social safety net, funding child care, health care, public education and climate resiliency.
“There ain’t gonna be no bipartisan bill, unless we have a reconciliation bill,” Pelosi said in June. “As I said, there won’t be an infrastructure bill, unless we have a reconciliation bill. Plain and simple.”
Democrats plan to advance that massive $3.5 trillion plan through budget reconciliation, a process which allows the Senate to avoid a filibuster and pass spending measures with a simple majority. While the Senate passed along party lines a plan for moving forward with the package, it will likely not be ready until the fall.
Progressives sent a letter to Pelosi earlier this week stating that most of their nearly 100 members would withhold support for the bipartisan bill until the larger spending plan is secure.
Meanwhile, the moderates’ letter, dated Thursday, heaped praise on the bipartisan infrastructure package, saying it will “help us compete with China and others in the global economy.”
“We urge our House colleagues to follow the same path as the Senate: vote first on the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and then consider the budget resolution,” they said.
Signees included Democratic Reps. Josh Gottheimer (N.J.), Carolyn Bourdeaux (Ga.), Filemon Vela (Texas), Jared Golden (Maine), Henry Cuellar (Texas), Vicente Gonzalez (Texas), Ed Case (Hawaii), Jim Costa (Calif.) and Kurt Schrader (Ore.).
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