Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez vowed liberals would 'tank' the bipartisan infrastructure bill in the House should they not get a second piece of legislation that contains funding for their priorities.
'House progressives are standing up,' Ocasio-Cortez said Thursday during a virtual town hall event, according to Bloomberg News. 'We will tank the bipartisan infrastructure bill unless we will also pass the reconciliation bill.'
Her threat has weight to it given that she and her progressive allies have the numbers. Given the small Democratic control in the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi can only afford to lose four Democratic votes.
Pelosi has said she won't bring the bipartisan plan to the House floor until the Senate has passed the second piece of legislation that is filled with liberals demands, which include funds for free pre-K and community colleges, expanded paid family and medical leave, and climate change.
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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez vowed liberals would 'tank' the bipartisan infrastructure bill should they not get their priorities
Senate Democrats came to an agreement this week on a $3.5 trillion package that includes President Joe Biden's 'human' infrastructure plans. It's being set up to be passed through a process called reconciliation, which allows legislation to be passed with a simple majority instead of the traditional 60 votes needed to advance. That means Biden doesn't need any Republican votes for his plan, which has united GOP opposition.
But Ocasio-Cortez's threat comes after Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer announced Thursday that he setting up a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill - which contains about $1 million in funding for roads, airports and other traditional projects - for next week.
No timing has been announced on the reconciliation bill, which only has a verbal agreement and no written framework. Schumer asked Senate Democrats to come to an agreement on specifics in that bill by next week, tying its timing to the bipartisan legislation.
Biden needs to keep all 50 Democrats in line on both measures. On the reconciliation bill, liberals want even more funding for their social projects while moderate senators like Joe Manchin of West Virginia have expressed concerns about the cost and how the measures will be paid for.
'If Manchin, and in the Senate, if they approve our reconciliation bill we will approve their bipartisan bill,' Ocasio-Cortez said. 'And if they try to strip immigration reform, if they try to, you know, claw back on childcare, climate action, etc., then we're at an impasse it's a no go.'
Right now neither the bipartisan infrastructure bill nor the second reconciliation bill with the 'human' infrastructure are guaranteed passage in the Senate.
Schumer is playing hard ball by trying to get Republicans to