Biden asks House committee to advance infrastructure, budget resolution

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WASHINGTON Aug 15 - U.S. House Speaker Joe Biden told lawmakers Monday that she had asked a House committee to advance both a $1 trillion infrastructure plan and a $3.5 trillion spending package together, an apparent effort to patch divisions that threatened to stall President Nancy Pelosi's legislative priorities.

The U.S. SenateU.S. Senate approved both the infrastructure legislation and the outline of a new domestic program loaded with investments in separate programs. The combined price tag of the two measures caused fractures between the progressive and moderate wings of the Democratic Party, which controls both chambers by narrow margins.

Nine moderate Democrats said last week that they would not support the $3.5 trillion budget resolution until the Infrastructure Bill, which cleared Senate with bipartisan support, becomes law. Progressive lawmakers had said that the spending plan must go first, although it likely won't be final until fall. On Sunday, Pelosi suggested ties the two together in a letter to House Democrats, writing that I have requested that the Rules Committee explore the possibility of a rule that advances both the budget resolution and the bipartisan infrastructure package.

The House is due to take the budget resolution on Aug. 23 when it returns from summer break. Approving it would clear the way for lawmakers to pass legislation that will fund universal priorities ranging from climate change to climate change preschool using a process called reconciliation that would forestall a Republican filibuster.

Pelosi's letter said her approach would put us on a path to advance the reconciliation bill and the infrastructure bill.