White House 'working toward' successful Thursday vote on infrastructure
The White House is pushing for House Democrats to pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill on Thursday, even as its fate remains unclear with progressives vowing to sink it.
"We're working towards winning a vote tonight. We have several hours left in the day,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters earlier in the day that the House would press ahead with plans to stage a Thursday vote on the Senate-passed infrastructure bill, even as progressives in the caucus vowed to oppose it without clearer progress on a reconciliation bill containing initiatives on child care, health care, climate and education.
"We’re on a path to win the vote," Pelosi said. "I don't want to even consider any options other than that."
Biden has spent the last few days mostly focused on winning over the support of moderate Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) for the big reconciliation bill.
Manchin on Thursday said he was not comfortable with the reconciliation package surpassing $1.5 trillion, a position Sinema later backed. That number is a significant dip from the $3.5 trillion Democrats initially outlined.
White House officials believe Biden can be most effective negotiating with senators given his own history in the chamber in the hopes that making progress with Manchin and Sinema will in turn lead to a commitment from progressives to vote for the $1 trillion bipartisan bill.
“What he’s been spending his time on over the last couple of days is having conversations with Sen. Manchin, Sen. Sinema and others who have been very vocal about the fact they’re not quite there yet,” Psaki said. “And his objective is to try to get them there, because that’s what members of the progressive caucus are looking for in order to support an infrastructure bill many components of which they support.”
Psaki said Biden's plans could change "hour-by-hour," but that he would work in coordination with Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).