Saturday 23 October 2021
Infrastructure dispute in the United States
Pelosi gives hope to a huge deal
In Washington, Democrats appear to be slowly coming to terms with President Biden’s next big electoral promise. The dispute with the two infrastructure packages appears to be within reach.
The Speaker of the US House of Representatives has expressed confidence that she will soon be able to resolve a month-long row over President Joe Biden’s planned $1 billion reform packages. There are some questions to be resolved, Nancy Pelosi said Friday, after speaking to fellow Democrat Biden. One of them is on the way to reaching an agreement. She hopes to vote in her House of Congress next week. A source said that the breakfast meeting that Biden and Pelosi held was practically attended by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Biden declared two infrastructure packages to be central goals. The smaller first bill of about $1 trillion provides the largest national spending on modernizing conventional infrastructure in decades. This draft has already been accepted by the Senate. However, House Democrats want to vote on it only when the second, larger package is available there. This includes investments in healthcare, education, and climate protection, among others, that should originally amount to $3.5 trillion in size. However, the corresponding draft was put on hold for several months due to the feud between Senate Democrats.
Because of the bitter resistance of the Republicans there, a special budget laws procedure called “reconciliation” would have to be used anyway in order to be able to pass the package by a simple majority. Republicans and Democrats each have 50 votes in the Senate. In the event of a tie, Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris can determine the outcome of the vote. This means that Biden’s House Democrats are counting on every vote.
There is no mandatory parliamentary group in the United States. But in the past few weeks, conservative Democratic senators like Joe Manchin and Kirsten Senema have spoken out in favor of a much smaller package or rejected planned tax increases for businesses and wealthier citizens. Biden himself acknowledged Thursday that the final version likely won’t contain any higher corporate taxes.
He, too, was confident that his party colleagues would eventually come to an agreement. “I think so, if we can’t unite this country sooner or later, we’re in serious trouble,” Biden told CNN when asked. “I think I’ll get a deal.”