U.S. House set to debate $1 trillion infrastructure bill Monday -Pelosi

Economy45 minutes ago (Sep 24, 2021 02:06PM ET)

(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Capitol Building is pictured in Washington, U.S., August 20, 2021. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – House Democratic leaders said on Friday they intended to forge ahead next week with U.S. President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion social agenda as well as a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill.

But with Democrats continuing to squabble over details of the social spending, it was unclear when votes would actually occur.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote a letter to fellow Democrats vowing to “move forward to pass two jobs bills next week.”

“The bill will come up on Monday,” Pelosi told reporters, referring to the smaller of the two measures that would help spark road, bridge, airport, school and other construction projects. The Senate passed that bill with bipartisan support on Aug. 10.

Far more complex is Democrats’ drive for $3.5 trillion for expanding healthcare for children and the elderly and for investing in steps to drastically reduce carbon dioxide and other emissions blamed for climate change.

Asked about the timing for that legislation on the House floor, Pelosi told reporters, “Have a little patience. Follow it, see it unfold. It’s interesting. We’re very encouraged.”

A large group of progressive lawmakers insist that the $1 trillion infrastructure bill be held back until the $3.5 trillion was ready. Moderates want the $1 trillion bill enacted no matter the progress on the larger measure.

The moderates extracted a promise from Pelosi for a House vote on it by Sept. 27.

Meanwhile, lawmakers were expected to spend the weekend working out thorny matters, including possibly bringing down the $3.5 trillion price tag, setting specific tax increases to fully offset the cost and settling a dispute over lower prescription drug prices.

U.S. House set to debate $1 trillion infrastructure bill Monday -Pelosi

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