WASHINGTON, D.C. — The House abruptly postponed a vote that was expected on a $1.85 trillion social and environmental spending bill, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House will vote on the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package Friday.
Democratic leaders had planned to move forward with votes on both bills Friday, but it appears the back-and-forth between moderates and progressives stopped the social spending legislation from being voted on. However, Pelosi said the House will vote on procedural steps to move the social spending bill forward. She hopes to get the bill passed by Thanksgiving.
Democrats are still trying to line up votes on the social spending package, which will increase access to child care and eldercare. It also contains provisions intended to fight climate change and expand Medicare, housing, health care and immigration. Moderates say they want to wait until the Congressional Budget Office determines how much it will cost before passing it.
Should the social spending bill pass the House, it would then move to the Senate, where Democrats control the chamber by the slimmest of margins. In order for the bill to pass, it would likely need the support of every Democratic senator — even moderates like Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Sen. Krysten Sinema, who have raised concerns about the package's price tag.
Manchin and Sinema have already pushed the Democrats to remove some provisions from the social spending bill, including tax breaks and penalties that would incentivize power companies to seek renewable energy sources. They've also reduced the size of some aspects of the bill, like the child tax deductions.
Though the current $1.85 trillion price tag is still high, it's about half the size of the original $3.5 trillion price tag.
The Associated Press says Democrats feel pressured to pass the legislation after a subpar showing on Election Day Tuesday. They believe delays in implementing Biden's domestic agenda may have led to losses in Virginia's gubernatorial race, as well as a disappointing turnout in the New Jersey governor's election.