September 23, 2021

House Democratic Leaders Move to Get Centrists on Board Ahead of Key Vote

WASHINGTON—House Democratic leaders made a last-minute commitment to vote on passing the bipartisan infrastructure bill by the end of next month, in hopes of closing a rift with centrist Democrats and clearing the way for a vote later Tuesday advancing President Biden’s legislative agenda.

The House was expected to vote midday Tuesday on a procedural measure that would advance both a roughly $1 trillion infrastructure bill already approved by the Senate and pass a roughly $3.5 trillion budget framework. Approval of the budget blueprint is the first procedural step in unlocking a process to muscle through a $3.5 trillion education, healthcare and climate package in the Senate without GOP support.

House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D., Mass.) on Tuesday changed the procedural motion, known as a rule, to specify that the House would consider the infrastructure bill on Sept. 27, if it hadn’t already done so.

That commitment marks a shift from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), who had previously said the House wouldn’t vote on the infrastructure bill until after the Senate had passed the $3.5 trillion budget package, an effort to tie the two bills together to keep the party’s centrist and liberal wings invested in the passage of both bills.

The measure committing to a Sept. 27 infrastructure vote is technically nonbinding, according to aides, but carries political weight as a commitment from Mrs. Pelosi and other top Democratic leaders.

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