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No Infrastructure Vote for Now as Debt Default and Government Shutdown Train Wreck Looms Over Congress


The vote on a $1 trillion infrastructure bill for roads and bridges that was supposed to happen today has been pushed off until Thursday because Democrats admit they don't the votes. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) had to walk back today's planned vote on the bi-partisan Senate bill because she doesn't have the votes so far. 

"I'm never bringing a bill to the floor that doesn't have the votes," Pelosi said, while insisting, "Let me just say we're going to pass the bill this week."

House progressives in her party won't vote for the Senate's $1 trillion roads and bridges infrastructure bill without an agreement on a $3.5 trillion "human infrastructure" bill – what some call a wish list of big government social programs, including things like a civilian climate corps and free community college, paid for by raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy.  

House Progressive Chair, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) said, "The 'Build Back Better' agenda is not some crazy agenda that just a few people support. It's actually the vast majority of the Democratic Caucus."

And Jayapal said progressives will tank the $1 trillion roads and bridges infrastructure bill if Congress can't also pass the $3.5 trillion human infrastructure bill, known as the reconciliation bill.

"The votes aren't there...we have to get to that reconciliation bill first," Jayapal said. 

But moderate Democrats like Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Sen. Kirsten Synema of Arizona have said they won't support a human infrastructure bill that big, and even Nancy Pelosi is conceding that the massive bill will be cut. 
Joe Biden still thinks he'll be signing the bills this week.  

"I'm optimistic about this week, it's going to take the better part of the week I think," Biden said.

But there are more pressing matters on Capitol Hill. The government runs out of money Thursday and is also set to default on its debt unless Congress votes to increase the debt ceiling.

GOP Sen. Pat Toomey told CNN Republicans would vote for a bill to fund the government but not if it is linked to a debt ceiling increase. That's because they say Democrats are just pushing to raise the debt limit so they can pass their massive spending $3.5 trillion social plan.

"I will certainly be voting 'no' if the Democrats insist on combining the debt ceiling increase, or suspension, with the continuing operations of the government," Toomey said. 

If the debt ceiling is not raised, the government could default on its debt. But Congress has always raised the debt ceiling in the past. 

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