President Joe Biden and his administration took part in plenty of chest-beating earlier this year when a bipartisan, $1 trillion infrastructure bill was passed in the Senate — a legacy-level bill that took months of intense and controversial negotiations.
However, as Fox News reported, the bill now rests in the hands of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who still insists that unless a second, $3.5 trillion monstrosity of a reconciliation bill passes alongside the infrastructure bill, nothing will pass at all, which leaves the Biden administration in quite the predicament.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), who works with the “No Labels” group that helped make the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill happen, isn’t happy with how Pelosi and Democratic House leadership seems to be holding their bill hostage with the hopes of forcing the second bill to be crammed through.
“We’ve worked for quite some time to negotiate a bipartisan infrastructure bill which did not include any of this additional spending. We’ve got the president to commit to it. We’ve got the Senate to pass it,” Hogan said. “And and then the House is now saying if we can’t jam through our three-and-a-half trillion dollars of other stuff that we took out of this compromise bill, that they’re not going to do it.”
Pelosi was finally forced to set a tentative date to take a vote on the bill after threats from moderate members of the House who wanted a firm date.
But given the complex dynamics involved in the passage of the bills, including a situation in which the support for the infrastructure bill from of a number of Democrats is dependent upon what happens to the reconciliation bill, some Republican leaders are seemingly leaning toward ditching the infrastructure bill altogether, including Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-SD).
“Speaker Pelosi is absolutely holding the infrastructure bill hostage… There are not just nine or 10 Democrats who are concerned about how breathtakingly large the $4.7 trillion combined package is. I mean there might be 100 Democrats that have some concerns,” Johnson told Fox.
Johnson added: “It’s hard to get excited about the trillion dollar deal if in any way it makes it more likely that the three-and-a-half trillion dollar deal passes.”
Only time will tell how it all shakes out, but with the White House in chaos and Pelosi flexing, the odds of the passage of either bill seem to be waning.