According to Rep. Jodey Arrington there’s “apparently trouble in progressive paradise this week,” concerning the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and the $3.5 trillion spending bill after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, along with other Democratic leaders, decided to postpone the vote on the infrastructure measure for the second time in a week.
“[Pelosi] was supposed to vote on infrastructure Monday,” the Texas Republican went on to say during an appearance on Newsmax’s “National Report” where he had a conversation with Rep. Rob Estes. “We’re at Friday and I don’t know that they will be able to get the votes.”
The vote for the infrastructure bill has become part of an “intramural scrimmage,” Arrington continued. Progressive Democrats are refusing to vote for the infrastructure bill without the spending bill coming first.
“Republicans have not been invited to negotiate,” Arrington stated, pointing out that members of the GOP have offered “hundreds of amendments” only to see all of them rejected.
“It’s a ram-and-jam job from the Democrats,” the congressman added. “They can’t get agreement within their own caucus, and Pelosi is desperately trying to leverage the infrastructure bill, uh, to get the votes for the big $3.5 trillion monstrosity of a tax-and-spend bill and she’s not having much success.”
Arrington added that he suspects there are some Democrats from competitive districts who don’t want to sign off on the spending bill because they “don’t want to sign their political death warrant” back home.
“They don’t want to run off the cliff that Nancy Pelosi is leading her caucus, recognizing that she’s not going to return and that more than likely we’re going to be in the majority. That’s my analysis,” said the Texas Republican.
Estes, meanwhile, pointed out that as Democrats control Congress and the White House, they should be able to reach an agreement but they are in an “interparty fight of trying to see how much money they can spend and trying to come up with different ideas.”
He then said that the $3.5 trillion spending legislation is now being called a reconciliation bill, but “that’s already moved up to $4.3 trillion, based on six of the House committees that voted to spend more money than what they were charged with when they started.”
Further, by trying to set up the bills as a package, that means the Democrats are trying to push through more than $5.5 trillion of spending on new programs that they want to roll out, Estes said.
“Their argument is between themselves about how much more money to spend and it’s going to continue to be a problem,” Estes commented. “It’s an issue that they’re focusing on, instead of focusing on what they should be doing, like keeping the government open. they just barely were able to get a continuing resolution to keep the government open until December and as of right now they have allowed the highway bill to expire, so we don’t have the authorization to do roads and bridges, which is a key part of the infrastructure that Americans really want.”
Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, is now calling for a reduction in the spending measure’s top line down to $1.5 trillion, and Sen. Krysten Sinema, a Democrat from Arizona is totally against the tax hikes that are necessary in order to fund the provisions in the bill. Arrington went on to say that he appreciates that lawmakers like them are providing some hope that the damage the legislation could bring to the nation will be scaled back a little.
“There are also progressive policies that will be stuffed in it, like forced unionization of every state,” he said, adding, “We will still have all those Progressive policies and we’ll still tax American competitiveness overseas and put more burden on working families at a time when we’re trying to recover from the recession.”