U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., lashed out Friday against a “far-left faction” of the House of Representatives, accusing the group of undermining the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and forcing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to admit more time was needed to pass the proposal.
He also claimed the progressive Democrats were placing President Biden’s entire agenda along with “civility and bipartisan governing at risk.”
“I’ve been working around-the-clock to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill, legislation we helped craft back in April with my Senate colleagues,” Gottheimer said in a statement Friday. “But a small far-left faction of the House of Representatives undermined that agreement and blocked a critical vote on the President’s historic bipartisan infrastructure bill.”
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Gottheimer and a group of House moderates had tried to push a quick vote on infrastructure earlier this week.
Led by House Progressive Caucus chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., the progressive wing forced Pelosi to back off on an infrastructure vote unless it was coupled with the more progressively ambitious $3.5 trillion Build Back Better bill.
“95% of Congressional Democrats support the entire Build Back Better agenda. 70% of voters want us to pass it. We won’t let corporate interests and billionaires stand in the way of delivering,” Jayapal tweeted late Friday.
Gottheimer continued, “This far-left faction is willing to put the President’s entire agenda, including this historic bipartisan infrastructure package, at risk,” Gottheimer continued. “They’ve put civility and bipartisan governing at risk.”
Republicans are united against the larger bill, and Senate Democratic moderates Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona refused to support $3.5 trillion in new spending, meaning the bill could not pass the Senate.
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So it was no use for Pelosi to pass it in the House. And she was forced to cave on the infrastructure bill because progressives insisted the other measure be must be considered by the House too or they’d vote against the infrastructure bill.
Fox News’ Kyle Morris and The Associated Press contributed to this report.