Nancy Pelosi Wants House and Senate to Agree on Reconciliation

Nancy Pelosi Wants House and Senate to Agree on Reconciliation

( – House Democrats continue fighting among themselves over the passage of the reconciliation bill as the September 27 deadline for a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure measure looms. Earlier this week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) indicated to Democrats in both the House and Senate she had no intention of pushing the reconciliation measure forward until the Senate demonstrated it could reach the necessary 50-vote threshold for clearance in the upper chamber. But as of Friday, it appears she hopes to push ahead with the legislation as soon as next week.

So far, Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) say they won’t agree to support the measure as it currently sits at roughly $3.5 trillion, which they maintain is too expensive. However, neither have said what figure they would accept.

Pelosi’s Promise

In a press release on September 20, Pelosi said she promised to stand her ground and block a vote until both chambers could come to an agreement on a price tag for the reconciliation bill that Manchin and Sinema are willing to accept. She reportedly said that she hoped it would remain at the current $3.5 trillion figure.

A report from The Hill indicated that Pelosi may have concerns the reconciliation bill could face the same struggle as the 2009 climate bill. Democrats controlled both Congressional chambers and the White House at the time but failed to get the bill before a vote in the Senate. However, the House did manage to pass it after weeks of wrangling.

A senior Democratic aide told The Hill that everyone has been trying to come up with a bill that will satisfy the White House, Senate, and the House of Representatives. The overall goal was to pre-conference the measure so Democrats won’t have to debate on a final bill if the House and Senate pass different versions.

Guarded Optimism Appears

Pelosi appeared optimistic about the measure’s eventual passage earlier this week as she departed a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and President Joe Biden at the White House. “We are on schedule,” she told reporters, adding, “We’re calm… our work’s almost done.”

At the same time, Progressive House members are pushing for a vote on the reconciliation bill whether or not Manchin and Sinema agree to vote for it when the time comes. They appear to be banking on pressure from within the Democratic Party to eventually convince them to pass the bill regardless of their long-standing positions on the matter.

On Friday, September 24, Pelosi appeared to flip on her earlier statement, saying in another press release that she plans to pass the reconciliation bill next week. The same day, Democrats released the full text of the package — all 2,465 pages of it. Pelosi admitted that there could be “changes” as negotiations move forward.

The operative question is whether or not Democrats will be able to negotiate a final bill that satisfies everyone in the party within such a small timeframe. What do you think will happen?

Copyright 2021,