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Pelosi's New Problem: 9 Fellow Democrats

She's given an ultimatum over budget and infrastructure measures
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2021 3:44 PM CDT
Pelosi Faces Dueling Demands on Budget, Infrastructure
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks Tuesday in San Francisco. Part of her caucus wants the budget decided first, and part wants an infrastructure vote.   (AP Photo/Nick Otto, File)

(Newser) – A group of nine Democratic House members has told Speaker Nancy Pelosi they won't vote for the $3.5 trillion budget until the chamber takes up the Senate's infrastructure bill. "We will not consider voting for a budget resolution until the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passes the House and is signed into law," the group wrote to Pelosi, Politico reports. That could throw a wrench into the speaker's plan to push both measures through the House quickly, starting with the budget. The progressive side of the party, at the same time, wants the budget bill to be put first and threatened to sink the trillion-dollar infrastructure measure when it comes to a vote. Although Democrats control the House, it's so split that Pelosi only has three votes to spare.

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"With the livelihood 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," wrote the group of nine, which is led by Rep. Josh Gottheimer. "Both are essential," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday, per the Wall Street Journal, adding that aides are working with Pelosi on the issues. Some Democrats are upset at the latest ultimatum given Pelosi, worried that both measures could be lost. And they see a lost political opportunity, per Politico. "We're all getting Republican commercials playing in our district, beating us up for everything from inflation to Afghanistan," said one. "Why not deliver some really good news in the month of August?" Besides Gottheimer, the other eight to sign the letter were Reps. Filemon Vela, Henry Cuellar, Vicente Gonzalez, Ed Case, Jared Golden, Jim Costa, Carolyn Bourdeaux, and Kurt Schrader. (The Senate approved the measures back-to-back.)

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