Senate Will Vote To Avert Shutdown; Pelosi Reschedules Infrastructure Vote After Progressives Refuse To Budge
As expected, the Senate is set to kick the can down the road on funding the government past a Thursday night deadline. According to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the chamber will vote today or tomorrow on a “clean” continuing resolution (CR) which will avert a shutdown until December 3.
That said, as Goldman’s Alec Phillips notes, by separating the continuing resolution from a debt ceiling vote, Democrats are giving up leverage in the hopes of passing both at the same time.
The decision to set the CR deadline for Dec. 3 lowers the risks around the debt limit slightly compared to the alternative, which would have been a mid-Oct. deadline. In light of the Treasury’s projection that the debt limit will need to be raised by Oct. 18, the two deadlines are now separate and congressional Democrats cannot use the next spending deadline to try to force a bipartisan debt vote to suspend the debt limit.
Of note, while Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen predicted the ‘drop-dead’ date on the debt ceiling will be October 18, the Congressional Budget Office on Wednesday estimated it would most likely happen towards the end of October, or early November.
Meanwhile in the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is expected to cancel a Thursday vote on the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan (BIF), because she doesn’t have the votes to pass it. According to The Hill, more than two-dozen progressive Democrats are planning to vote “no” on the BIF because it’s been separated from the $3.5 trillion spending package.
“They will not pass it on Thursday. Enough of the House members understand that they would be gutting the Build Back Better agenda,” one Democratic lawmaker told the outlet, adding “Nancy will pull it. We’re pretty sure she won’t put it up for a vote. She’ll meet with the moderates and she’ll say, ‘Listen, I don’t put these things up when the votes aren’t there. It doesn’t help your cause to see it fail, it doesn’t help the president to see it fail.”
Pelosi had promised the bill would receive a vote on Monday and then delayed the vote to Thursday.
On Wednesday, she said the vote was still scheduled but acknowledged that as Speaker, she could shift the schedule. She also reiterated that she will not bring a bill to the floor that does not have the votes to pass.
Pelosi said Wednesday that she won’t move one bill without the other.
“We’re doing it simultaneously,” she said.
Progressives have been pressing for two centrist Democratic senators, Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), to specify what they can support in the larger social spending plan, which Democrats want to move under budget reconciliation rules. -The Hill
The Progressive pushback was backed by Senate Budget Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who warned progressives in a Tuesday conference call that they will completely lose their leverage if they let the $1 trillion package pass.
“There was an agreement in terms of a dual track and that I’m not happy to see that agreement reneged on, and second of all that we’ll lose our leverage in passing a strong reconciliation bill here if they were to pass the infrastructure bill,” said Sanders to House progressives.
Wed, 09/29/2021 – 14:27