House Democrats confront standoff with moderates and an agenda in jeopardy


The impasse forced House leadership into negotiations late into the evening on Monday attempting to reach a deal with the moderates that would allow them to move ahead with a vote to pass the resolution, but shortly after midnight members were notified that no further votes were expected in the House for the night.

Not only did Democrats not reach their initial goal of passing the budget resolution on Monday, they will return to the Capitol on Tuesday morning without a final vote scheduled or a firm plan on how to get there. A vote could take place as soon as Tuesday afternoon, but that would require the cohort of moderate Democrats or Democratic House leadership to make a concession that neither side has seemingly been willing to make up until this point.

When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi left her office she told reporters, “We’ll see tomorrow, won’t we now,” when asked about the rule that would be coming to the floor.

The House returned to Washington this week in an effort to approve the budget resolution, which would open the door for the party to pass sweeping legislation to expand the social safety net with only Democratic votes in the Senate. The difficulty that Democrats are now facing in achieving that goal underscores how challenging it can be to navigate internal divisions with such a narrow majority in the House.

The demand from moderates comes as Pelosi has made clear for months that the House won’t take up the bipartisan bill until the Senate passes the larger and more sweeping package through budget reconciliation. Progressives have said they won’t support the infrastructure bill on its own without the larger economic package that would expand the social safety net.

Trying to find common ground, Democratic leadership attempted to put forward a vote that would pass the budget resolution using a special procedural move instead of requiring it to have its own vote. Pelosi also floated assurances to the group of moderates that the Senate’s bipartisan infrastructure deal would get a vote in the House by October 1, but it was unclear as of early Tuesday whether a specific date had been written into the rule to satisfy moderates.

House Rules Chairman Jim McGovern, a Democratic congressman from Massachusetts, told reporters late Monday night, “We’re still trying to figure out if we go tonight or early tomorrow morning.”

Asked if moderates will vote for it, he replied, “I don’t know that. I think we’re still waiting to hear from people. … We’re waiting to figure out whether we have” the votes.

Earlier in the evening, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters, “We’re still working,” when asked about a meeting with moderate Democrats about whether they can come together and vote on the budget resolution.

Hoyer said an agreement had not been reached.

“We had a discussion and they have concerns,” Hoyer said. “And we’re trying to meet those concerns.”



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