Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Jayapal and progressives

U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) speaks alongside fellow progressive lawmakers after meeting with President Joe Biden at the White House on October 19, 2021. (Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Reconciliation Framework 'Not Enough' to Push Through Infrastructure Bill, Progressives Warn

"We need to have a vote ready for the Build Back Better plan, not a framework," insisted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. "We want to have both of these votes together."

Brett Wilkins

U.S. House progressives led by Reps. Pramila Jayapal, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Cori Bush dug in their heels Tuesday as right-wing Democrats attempted to salvage a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill while sidelining the more ambitious Build Back Better package championed by the party's left wing and President Joe Biden until after the weaker bipartisan legislation is passed.

"It's not enough for me. And there are more of us."

Bloomberg reports House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and congressional Democratic leadership insisted that a framework agreement on the budget reconciliation bill would be sufficient for lawmakers to proceed with a separate vote on the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure legislation delayed by progressives earlier this month over concerns that their $3.5 trillion package would be sacrificed.

CNN chief congressional correspondent Manu Raju tweeted that after Pelosi "pushed back on progressives' demands" that a "larger bill must pass [the] House first before they agree to vote for infrastructure," Jayapal (D-Wash.) asserted that a framework was unacceptable.

"Our members don't want to do that," Jayapal said of the Congressional Progressive Caucus she chairs.

Pressed if she would vote against the infrastructure bill absent anything more than a framework on the larger bill, Jayapal told Raju that "at this point, there are dozens of our members who are in that place."

Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) agreed with Jayapal, telling Bloomberg that "a mere framework is not enough."

"We need to have a vote ready for the Build Back Better plan, not a framework," she insisted. "We want to have both of these votes together."

A resolute Bush (D-Mo.) also dismissed talk of a framework agreement, tweeting simply, "It's not enough for me. And there are more of us."

The impasse came as Bloomberg and others reported Democratic leadership is working to reduce the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better bill favored by the president and progressives to less than $2 trillion.

Some progressives took aim at right-wing, corporate-backed Democrats—namely, Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.)—who have relentlessly worked to shrink the size and scope of the reconciliation package.

"I'm pissed off, man," fumed Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) in an interview with CNN about Manchin's outsized influence in an evenly split Senate. "It's just unacceptable to me that one person from one state can have all this power."

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.

'All of Rail Labor Is Going to Suffer': Workers Furious Over Biden Move to Preempt Strike

"This is a legacy-defining moment for Joe Biden," said Railroad Workers United. "He is going down as one of the biggest disappointments in labor history."

Jake Johnson ·

Citing Need for 'New, Inclusive Leadership,' Chuy García Files for Chicago Mayoral Race

"We have an opportunity to elect a trusted and experienced leader with a history of building coalitions and a vision for a brighter future for all Chicagoans," said the Democratic congressman.

Jessica Corbett ·

On Cyber Monday, Climate Activists Take Aim at Fashion Industry

"The fashion industry is one of the largest polluting industries globally. We can all do better, but it's on companies to make this industry better for workers, the planet, and consumers alike."

Jessica Corbett ·

Biden Accused of Selling Out Rail Workers by Urging Congress to Prevent Strike

"Biden is siding with corporate rail bosses over the rank-and-file workers who voted against this agreement," said one progressive commentator after the president urged lawmakers to take action to force through a deal without paid sick leave.

Brett Wilkins ·

Analysis Finds State Legislators Proposed 306 Bills Targeting Trans People in Past 2 Years

"Right-wing state lawmakers are obsessed with taking away the rights of trans people and we're obsessed with knocking them out of public office," said one rights group.

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo