Pelosi scrambles to pass trillion-dollar infrastructure bill

Pelosi told reporters she is closer to bringing the two wings of her party together as she works to secure enough votes to pass the Senate-passed bill, which would spend hundreds of billions of dollars upgrading roads, bridges, transit, rail, broadband, airports, ports and waterways.

When asked by CNN how she would describe this stage of negotiations, Pelosi called it “constant invigoration.”

Pelosi’s effort to pass the infrastructure bill is complicated by West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat who said Thursday he would support a much smaller, $1.5 trillion bill expanding the social safety net.
White House officials are huddling with top aides to Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and trying to see if they can get a deal with Manchin and fellow moderate Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona on a framework of a social safety net package, according to a senator familiar with the matter.

With a split Senate and a slim hold on the House, Democrats are leveraging their power to make sure their colleagues support their bills, which comprise President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda.

Progressives say they’ll withhold their support on the bipartisan infrastructure package until moderates strike a deal with them on the Build Back Better Act. Washington state Rep. Pramila Jayapal, the Congressional Progressive Caucus chairwoman, told CNN she was not worried that her liberal colleagues will break ranks.

“I have never seen our caucus so strong,” said Jayapal. “And I’m a very good vote counter, also, maybe not quite as good as Nancy Pelosi sometimes, but I’m excellent.”

But at least a dozen House Republicans are expected to vote for the roads and bridges bill, allowing Pelosi to lose some members on her left flank.

One source told CNN that Pelosi has had success Thursday flipping some Democrats into the “yes” column.

“The number (of no votes) is coming down,” the source said.

New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer, co-chair of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, confirmed that he and Pelosi were both whipping Democrats on the floor during the last vote series.

“She’s doing it,” he said. “It’s the Pelosi magic.”

This story has been updated with additional developments Thursday.

CNN’s Manu Raju and Jessica Dean contributed to this report.

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