House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Saturday that the lower chamber is “hard at work” to pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill as well as a larger, Democrat-backed spending package by Oct. 1.
The speaker stated in a “Dear Colleague” letter distributed Saturday night that President Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan has “a broad and bipartisan level of public support throughout the country.”
The $3.5 trillion price tag for the larger infrastructure package, a legislative priority for the Biden administration, will remain the bill’s topline figure, according to Pelosi.
The bill would include, among other things, child care, home health care, and paid family and medical leave.
“..the President has been clear: this is the number that will honor his vision to Build Back Better,” she said.
“…this is the number that has been agreed to in the Senate and is now before us in the House. Accordingly, we will write a reconciliation bill with the Senate that is consistent with that topline.”
Earlier this month, the Senate passed a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill with bipartisan support on both sides of the aisle. This bill provided funding for more traditional infrastructure, such as upgrades to electrical grids, water systems, public transportation, and airports.
Following the bill’s passage in the Senate, the Senate also passed the $3.5 trillion budget resolution, paving the way for Democrats to pass their larger spending package without GOP support, effectively bypassing the legislative filibuster. The resolution is now awaiting a vote in the House. “Any delay to passing the budget resolution threatens the timetable for delivering the historic progress and the transformative vision that Democrats share,” Pelosi said.
“The House is hard at work to enact both the Build Back Better Plan and the bipartisan infrastructure bill before October 1st, when the BIF would go into effect,” Pelosi added.
According to a White House readout of the call, the speaker spoke with Biden Saturday afternoon and discussed, among other things, the president’s “support for Speaker Pelosi’s work to advance the rule that would provide for the House’s consideration of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill and the Build Back Better Agenda.”
Biden has defended the Build Back Better plan as a means of lowering prescription drug costs, lowering the cost of housing and education, improving veterans’ care, combating climate change, and assisting Americans in covering the costs of child and senior care.
The White House announced on Saturday that Biden and Pelosi reaffirmed their desire for a $3.5 trillion proposal that would raise taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals, a move that has united Republicans in opposition to the spending plan.
In her letter, Pelosi stated that the House will write legislation “that is paid for, including by increasing taxes on the wealthiest Americans and largest corporations, some of whom currently pay little to no federal income taxes.”
House Democrats in the middle, led by Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), have threatened to filibuster the $3.5 trillion budget resolution.
The US Chamber of Commerce and other prominent business lobbying groups are rallying behind these lawmakers, who have asked Pelosi to call a vote on the Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill without the larger reconciliation package as soon as possible.