House Democrat standoff ends with passage of $3.5 Trillion budget plan

Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 4:26 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - House Democrats are moving forward on a process to potentially add trillions in new spending after members of their own party put up some temporary roadblocks.

The vote came after a group of nine moderate democrats, including Representatives Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), Jared Golden D-Maine), and Ed Case (D-Hawaii) prompted a standoff, rebelling against party leaders on the plan of action.

“We wanted a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill because once we vote on that on September 27th, it goes directly to the White House and the President is going to sign it,” said Rep. Cuellar, adding that the infrastructure bill would create two million jobs a year for the next 10 years while investing more than $30 billion into the state of Texas.

House Speaker Pelosi and other progressives didn’t want to pass the bipartisan infrastructure plan by itself and instead wanted it tied to a separate budget reconciliation process.

“If you tie it to the reconciliation, we don’t know how long the reconciliation is going to take,” said Rep. Cuellar. “Will it be in October? Will it be in November? Will it be in September? Nobody knows.”

Under the deal struck between Speaker Pelosi and the moderate lawmakers, Cuellar says they now have a guarantee to vote on infrastructure as well as more ability to bring down the $3.5 trillion price tag for the budget package.

Dr. Casey Burgat of George Washington University says these negotiations are part of the political process.

“Politics is really messy,” said Dr. Burgat. “These factions really do exist on a lot of policy issues; this is how it’s kind of supposed to work.”

Procedural votes in the House will open on Tuesday on the budget reconciliation process.

House and Senate Democrats will likely work on it over the coming weeks before they have a finished product.

The process Democrats plan to use for a budget package would allow them to pass it through both chambers without Republicans. It would direct funding to issues like climate change, poverty, and health care.

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