House Moderates Throw Down Against Pelosi Call for Vote on Biden Bills

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

How many times has House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca) tried to shove that Build Back Better bill through for a vote at this point? She must like stacking up those failures.

Pelosi is gearing up for another try again today. She’s announced a floor vote today on the Build Back Better bill, and then the bipartisan infrastructure bill.

But once again, moderate Democrats are balking. This time, it’s the House moderates who have this funny little problem — they’d actually like people to have time to read the text of the mammoth, 2,000-plus page bill, and they’d like to know how much the extravaganza is truly going to cost — not just the spin number from the White House or Pelosi.

Wow, what a concept: actually knowing what you are voting on, not just voting on it so that you can “find out what’s in it” — the Pelosi standard we saw with Obamacare.

From Fox News:

Reps. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., Jared Golden, D-Maine, Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., and Ed Case, D-Hawaii, all signed a letter Tuesday demanding 72 hours to review the final bill text, “the proper CBO/JCT scoring information” and clearance with the Senate that the bill will not be changed once the House passes it.

There is a Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) score for the bill, but the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released nothing, and it’s not clear when it will. There’s been no effort to pre-conference the bill with the Senate, and it is now widely expected the upper chamber will make significant changes to it.

There were changes made to the bill yesterday, so that means the moderates are still asking for three more days to review it, until Sunday. They don’t expect a CBO score until after Thanksgiving, according to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Ca).

As we previously reported, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has already indicated that the House bill — as presently constructed — has a variety of non-starters and isn’t going to make it through the Senate without changes. Manchin killed the progressives’ dreams even more when he said that the United States was a “center-right” country. The House also hasn’t done any work with the Senate to come together on the issues in the text, to work them out.

Basically, as I said, this is Pelosi’s effort to shove through something she knows isn’t going to make it in the Senate, so she can then say: blame the failure on the other chamber — and folks like Manchin. If they actually wanted it to pass, they would be all over trying to make sure that the text was acceptable to the Senate. But they’re not. It’s a game — legislative theater to perform for their base and pretend they’re doing all they can. It’s that kind of theater that’s lends to the demonizing of Manchin and activists harassing both him and Sinema, as we saw yesterday with activists stalking him and surrounding his car.

It says something about any Democrat who would vote on this without having read it — and without knowing how much it costs. That’s an abrogation of their responsibilities. It shows they don’t care about doing their job.

Democrats can only lose three votes if they hope to pass it, and at this point, there are certainly more than three in question. But even if it manages to squeak through, it’s dead on arrival — as presently constructed — in the Senate.