Progressives Dems celebrated derailing the $1 trillion infrastructure bill, as they pledge to hold out for the $3.5 trillion package to pass first

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AOC and Cori Bush
  • Progressives celebrated Nancy Pelosi delaying a vote on a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill.

  • They are withholding support until a much larger $3.5 trillion package makes progress.

  • Progressives worry that if the smaller package goes first the larger one may never happen.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Progressives in the House of Representatives were celebrating Thursday after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delayed a vote on a bipartisan infrastructure bill thanks to a rebellion in her party.

Democratic representatives, led by Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, refused to support the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill unless a larger, $3.5 trillion social welfare and climate change bill makes more progress.

-The ReidOut (@thereidout) September 30, 2021

The Democrats' slim majority in the House means only a few members need to withdraw support to stop progress on legislation.

The argument over the order in which to pursue the $1.2 trillion and $3.5 trillion packages has led to deep rifts in the Democratic Party.

The infrastructure bill was passed with bipartisan support by the Senate in August, and is awaiting approval by the House.

But progressives believe that if they approve that bill their leverage will be gone, and the larger spending program they want will be watered down in the Senate.

"I am so proud of our caucus," Jayapal said Thursday afternoon in remarks to the Huffington Post."I have never seen our caucus so strong."

Pelosi said late Thursday that the scheduled vote on the infrastructure bill vote would not go ahead, after it became clear that the votes were not there to ensure it passed. Progressive representatives hailed their show of strength under the hashtag #HoldTheLine.

-Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández (@RepTeresaLF) October 1, 2021

Addressing supporters outside the Capitol, Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez of New York, a prominent member of the caucus, criticised those arguing for Democrats to accept a smaller spending program.

-Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@RepAOC) September 30, 2021

The impasse threatens President Joe Biden's domestic agenda - a sweeping program to boost the economy and reform social welfare.

The way out of the deadlock is unclear. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a leading Democratic moderate, has taken the opposite position, insisting that he will not approve a bill he thinks is too large.

Given the 50-50 split in the Senate, his vote is also necessary to advance the infrastructure bills.

On Thursday Manchin said that he would not pass a bill any larger than $1.5 trillion, a small fraction of the sum demanded by progressives and the White House.

"Some of our Senate colleagues are all over the place," Ocasio-Cortez told ABC News Thursday, referring to Manchin's remarks earlier in the year that he would be open to a bill much larger than that the sum he cited Thursday.

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Negotiations to reconcile the feuding factions of the Democratic caucus were due to continue Friday.

Read the original article on Business Insider