WASHINGTON, Aug. 13 - Nine moderate Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives plan to tell House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that they will not vote to move forward with his party's $3.5 trillion budget until the bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure plan is signed into law, according to the New York Times.
Their refusal to back a budget resolution aimed at blocking passage of the massive spending plan is expected to be mailed to Pelosi in a letter later on Friday, the Times said, and their bloc is solid enough to block consideration of the bill.
The move is the latest crack between moderate and liberal Democrats who control Congress and the White House, as they seek to implement President Joe Biden's Build Back Better agenda with an eye toward midterm congressional elections in 2022.
The U.S. SenateU.S. Senate, which Democrats were not far behind, moved ahead to approve the massive budget-planning blueprint earlier this week, but within hours received pushback from two moderates over the plan's $3.5 trillion price tag.
On Friday, the moderate House Democrats planned to urge against delaying the infrastructure bill - the biggest investment of decades in roads, bridges, airports and waterways.
With the livelihoods of hardworking American families at stake, we simply can't afford months of unnecessary delays and risk squandering this one-in-a-century, bipartisan infrastructure package, the letter said according to a copy obtained by the Times.
It's time to get shovels in the ground and people to work, they wrote. The letter's lead author, New Jersey Democrat Josh Gottheimer, could not be reached immediately to confirm the report.
Nineteen GOP senators voted for the infrastructure bill, but conservatives balked at Democrats' larger spending plan, which contains a host of hospitals, climate, childcare and other provisions under Biden’s plan to rebuild the nation.