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POLITICAL NEWS

Infrastructure Bill

Infrastructure bill stalls after Democratic leaders fail to wrangle support


Story by Dartunorro Clark and Rebecca Shabad

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Published on October 2, 2021 2:13 AM
 
The White House tried to downplay expectations about Biden's meeting with lawmakers, suggesting that passage of the infrastructure bill shouldn't be expected afterward. A senior administration official told NBC News that the president will say there is “more work to do” and will “make his case for his agenda.” White House press secretary Jen Psaki declined to predict when a vote on the infrastructure bill would be held, saying it is up to Pelosi. But, she said, the president is adamant about getting the legislation passed.
 
WASHINGTON — House Democratic leaders appeared to have failed to wrangle enough support Friday to pass the $550 billion infrastructure package after intraparty fighting delayed a planned vote — further stalling one of President Joe Biden's top legislative priorities.

House Democrats huddled behind closed doors at the Capitol in caucus meeting since Thursday morning to haggle over the $550 billion infrastructure deal and the $3.5 trillion social spending plan but emerged without a resolution.

Both measures have the support of Democrats and remain likely to pass in some form. But the size of the social safety net bill remains a sticking point among Democrats, with moderates pushing for a pared-down version while progressives insist that the bill's price tag will boost an economy upended by the pandemic.

Late Friday, Democratic House leadership conceded they would not hold an infrastructure vote before heading home for the weekend. Instead, lawmakers voted on a short-term extension of existing road projects.

Biden attempted to soothe tensions among the moderate and progressive wings of the party and make a case for his legislative agenda by attending the caucus meeting Friday afternoon. But he sided with progressives, and lawmakers left without a deal.