Sen. Sinema, Moderate House Dems: No Infrastructure Vote Means No $3.5T Spending Support Sen. Kyrsten Sinema questions witnesses during a hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on May 14, 2019, in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
By Charlie McCarthy | Monday, 20 September 2021 07:30 AM
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., and a group of House Democrats say they won't back President Joe Biden's $3.5T spending bill if the vote on the bipartisan infrastructure plan is delayed, Politico reported.
Sinema, a moderate, told Biden at a private meeting Wednesday she won't support the reconciliation bill if the House delays its scheduled Sept. 27 vote on the bipartisan infrastructure plan or if the vote fails, Politico reported Monday.
Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., said several colleagues are taking a stance similar to Sinema's. Schrader is one of approximately 10 moderate Democrats making the threat to House leadership, Politico said.
A senior Democrat aide confirmed the warnings to Politico.
"If they delay the vote — or it goes down — then I think you can kiss reconciliation goodbye," Schrader told Politico. "Reconciliation would be dead."
Politico also said "it's become abundantly clear the reconciliation bill won't be ready" by Sept. 27, the date Pelosi promised moderates a vote on the infrastructure bill to rebuild the country’s roads and bridges.
Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., last week said that House progressives had the votes to tank the infrastructure plan unless it’s paired with the larger reconciliation package.
Progressives believe if they threaten to kill the infrastructure bill, it will convince moderate members to go along with the larger reconciliation package, Politico said
House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., told CNN on Sunday that delaying the vote was possible.
The new stance by House moderates, however, indicated that a delay would not end well for Democrats, Politico said. Some moderates privately have said that no infrastructure bill is better than one that's paired with the reconciliation bill.
"That’d be foolish on their part [to delay the vote]," Schrader told Politico, noting that Clyburn, Pelosi, and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., all were present when the promise to hold a Sept. 27 vote on infrastructure was made.
"That would indicate they're not playing fair in the sandbox. It would be a travesty if they try to play games."
As for Sinema's discussion with Biden, the senator's office refuse to confirm or deny the exchange.
"Kyrsten does not share details of private conversations with President Biden or her colleagues," an official in Sinema’s office said.
"She does look forward to House leadership making good on their commitment to an up-or-down vote on the historic and bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act next Monday — to create jobs and expand economic opportunities across the country."
Politico also reported that Sinema told the White House she opposed the Democrats' prescription drug plan — a critical source of funding for the reconciliation legislation. Schrader last week voted against it in committee.
"We don't discuss the president's private conversations with senators," a senior White House official told Politico.