WASHINGTON — The House may move on the long-delayed infrastructure bill as soon as this evening after President Biden on Thursday released the text of the massive spending bill that progressives had been waiting to see.
“The text is up for review, for consideration, for alteration, addition or subtraction,” said Pelosi, referencing House progressives who have maintained that they will only vote on the infrastructure bill after they see what’s going to be in the spending measure. “There are still clarifications that will come.”
Just ahead of the Oct. 31 deadline Pelosi set earlier this month and in a move to win over House progressives, the White House and Congressional leadership were able to come to a last-minute agreement on the president’s signature legislative priority.
The $1.75 trillion spending bill maintains universal Pre-K, a middle class tax cut, a child care tax credit, an expansion of the Affordable Care Act to families in 12 states and half a trillion dollars to combat climate change. The deal was announced after Biden visited the Capitol on Thursday morning, pushing back his flight to Rome to meet Pope Francis and Glasgow to attend the COP26 Global Climate Summit.
If the House does not pass the infrastructure bill by Oct. 31, the Federal Highway Administration will cease effective operations and 3,700 Department of Transportation employees will be furloughed.
“This is professional. Let’s do it in a timely fashion,” Pelosi said, acknowledging the initial deadline of Sept. 15. “We have had a target for this for a long time.”
House Leader Kevin McCarthy spoke to reporters ahead of Pelosi and, not unexpectedly, said few in his caucus would be moved to support the infrastructure measure.
“I don’t expect few, if any, to vote for it, if it comes to the floor today,” the California Republican said, adding: “I don’t know if it’ll make it to the floor.”