...

UPDATE 3-Pelosi says U.S. infrastructure bill will pass, eyes smaller social spending bill




 

(Adds comment from Biden)

By Humeyra Pamuk

WASHINGTON, Sept 26 (Reuters) - U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed confidence on Sunday that the $1 trillion infrastructure bill will pass this week but sounded more doubtful about bringing it to the House floor on Monday as she previously pledged to do.

"You cannot choose the date, you have to go when you have the votes in a reasonable time and we will," she said. "I'm never bringing a bill to the floor that doesn't have the votes," she told ABC News "This Week" anchor George Stephanopoulos, walking back comments from Friday that she would bring it to the floor on Monday.

"Let me just say that we're going to pass the bill this week," said Pelosi, a Democrat.

The measure was passed in the Senate with support from Democrats and Republicans on Aug. 10, and will help fund road, bridge, airport, school and other construction projects. It is also key to the success of President Joe Biden's economic agenda.

Biden, asked at the White House on Sunday whether Pelosi had the votes she needed, expressed hopefulness. "I'm optimistic about this week. It's going to take the better part of the week, I think," he told reporters.

Pelosi also said that it was "self evident" Biden's larger $3.5 billion social welfare and climate bill - whose massive cost has divided the Democratic party - might shrink in size.

Democrats have so far failed to reach consensus on the timing of the bills.

A large group of progressive lawmakers insist that the $1 trillion infrastructure bill be held back until the bigger bill is ready. Moderates want the $1 trillion bill enacted no matter the progress on the larger measure, which includes provisions for expanding healthcare for children and the elderly and for investing in steps to drastically reduce emissions blamed on climate change.

Pelosi did not specifically address how the divisions within the party would be overcome, but said the final figure for the larger package would be lower than $3.5 trillion.

"That was the number that was sent to us by the Senate and by the President. Obviously with negotiation, there has to be some changes in that the sooner the better, so that we can build our consensus to go forward," she said.

The House Budget Committee advanced the larger bill on Saturday, reporting the legislation with a favorable recommendation.

Pelosi was speaking ahead of a high-stakes week for both Democrats and Republicans in Washington. The U.S. Congress is fast approaching a Sept. 30 deadline to continue funding federal agencies or face the second partial government shutdown in three years.

"We have to make sure we keep the government open and we will," Pelosi said.

In late October or early November, the U.S. Treasury will run out of money to pay its obligations, meaning the government faces the risk of a historic default if Congress does not act.

Republicans say they oppose the bill because it includes a temporary suspension of the debt limit, and while they oppose allowing the U.S. government to default, they want Democrats to suspend the debt limit without their votes.

Pelosi accused Republicans of being irresponsible and said the failure to extend the debt ceiling could have a broader impact on the U.S. economy.

"This is beyond a big deal," she said. (Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; additional reporting by Jeff Mason; editing by Ross Colvin, Grant McCool and Diane Craft)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Schumer Nears Make-or-Break Moment to Deliver on Biden Agenda
Schumer Nears Make-or-Break Moment to Deliver on Biden Agenda

(Bloomberg) -- Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer faces staggering policy challenges -- President Joe Biden's economic agenda, voting rights legislation...

'This is our last chance': Biden urged to act as climate agenda hangs by a thread

Failure to pass legislation to cut emissions before the UN summit in Glasgow could be catastrophic for efforts to curb global heating Joe Biden has been...

Democratic infighting puts October spending bill deadline in doubt
Democratic infighting puts October spending bill deadline in doubt

Democrats may have to scrap a Halloween deadline for advancing a massive social welfare spending package thanks to internal fighting over the size and cost...

Biden White House weighs executive orders for police reform amid Floyd bill collapse in Congress
Biden White House weighs executive orders for police reform amid Floyd bill collapse in Congress
  • US
  • 2021-10-16 17:13:00Z

Civil Rights attorney Ben Crump reached out to theGrio Saturday morning to provide details about the White House meeting between […] The post Biden White...

Biden touts childcare provisions in Democratic spending bill
Biden touts childcare provisions in Democratic spending bill

Biden trumpets the childcare provisions in $3.5-trillion spending package. But some Democrats are still quarreling about the cost and scope.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Economy