Sep 28, 2021
Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday implored his colleagues in the House to vote against a Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill until Congress approves a far-reaching reconciliation package that includes anti-poverty measures and climate action.
"I strongly urge my House colleagues to vote against the bipartisan infrastructure bill until Congress passes a strong reconciliation bill," Sanders (I-Vt.) said in a statement.
Even though the Democrats' $3.5 trillion social infrastructure package is not yet ready, a widely criticized bipartisan physical infrastructure bill is expected to be brought to the House floor on Thursday, after Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)--who said in June that the lower chamber would not take up either piece of legislation until the Senate passed both--reneged on her earlier pledge and scheduled a vote on the $550 billion bipartisan deal.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, has made clear that--in keeping with the two-track plan that Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and President Joe Biden outlined months ago--dozens of House Democrats are prepared to vote against the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework (BIF) this week to secure passage of the more ambitious Build Back Better Act.
\u201cProgressives in the House and Senate are ready to deliver President Biden's ENTIRE Build Back Better agenda. That means not only investing in roads and bridges but also in people and communities.\nhttps://t.co/7P8n84YCwc\u201d— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@Rep. Pramila Jayapal) 1632859200
Senate Budget Committee Chair Sanders on Tuesday encouraged his fellow progressives to hold the line, warning that prematurely approving the BIF would essentially kill the popular Build Back Better Act.
"Let's be crystal clear," said Sanders. "If the bipartisan infrastructure bill is passed on its own on Thursday, this will be in violation of an agreement that was reached within the Democratic Caucus in Congress."
\u201cNo\u00a0infrastructure bill should pass without a $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill. That is the agreement that was made & that is the agreement that must be kept. Physical infrastructure is important, but the needs of working families & combatting climate change is more important.\u201d— Bernie Sanders (@Bernie Sanders) 1632855111
"More importantly, it will end all leverage that we have to pass a major reconciliation bill," Sanders continued. "That means there will be no serious effort to address the long-neglected crises facing the working families of our country, the children, the elderly, the sick, and the poor."
"It also means that Congress will continue to ignore the existential threat to our country and planet with regard to climate change," he added.
We're optimists who believe in the power of informed and engaged citizens to ignite and enact change to make the world a better place.
We're hundreds of thousands strong, but every single supporter counts.
Your contribution supports this new media model—free, independent, and dedicated to uncovering the truth. Stand with us in the fight for social justice, human rights, and equality. As a people-powered nonprofit news outlet, we cover the issues the corporate media never will. Join with us today!
Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.