The warring factions of the Democratic Party are digging in on their competing positions surrounding President Biden’s domestic agenda, raising the prospect that a bipartisan infrastructure bill will fail if it hits the House floor on Thursday.
The internal stalemate is raising new questions about whether Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will punt again on a vote that was originally scheduled for Monday.
Pelosi huddled in her Capitol office Thursday afternoon with three of the caucus’s major blocs: the Blue Dogs, the Progressive Caucus and the New Democrats. Each faction emerged asserting their previously held demands — the same entrenched dynamics that created the infrastructure impasse.
Moderate Democrats are still insisting on immediate passage of the $1.2 trillion Senate-passed infrastructure bill, arguing the need for a bipartisan victory on a major piece of Biden’s wishlist.
“We get credit for pucks in the net, not shots on goal,” said Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.), former chairman of the New Democrats. “The American people need the puck to get into the net.”
But progressives are also sticking with their position, demanding that a pair of Senate centrists — Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) — commit to supporting a larger social benefits package before House liberals vote to send the infrastructure bill to Biden’s desk.