Pelosi: Biden spending plan, infrastructure deal and funding 'must pass' next week

www.theguardian.com
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Speaker sends letter to party at mercy of warring factions, prompting one reporter to observe: 'Well, this is raising the stakes'
In a letter to Democrats on Saturday the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, set her sights high, saying Joe Biden's $3.5tn spending package, a bipartisan infrastructure deal worth $1tn and a measure to expand government funding "must pass" next week.

Calling Friday 30 September "a date fraught with meaning", Pelosi said: "This week, we must pass a continuing resolution, Build Back Better Act and the" infrastructure deal.

Government funding will run out at midnight on 30 September. Pelosi did not mention legislation to extend the debt ceiling and prevent a US default, another flashpoint with Republicans.

The letter came against a backdrop of unified Republican opposition and bitter splits between Democratic moderates and progressives which threaten to sink Biden's first-term agenda.

One Washington Post reporter wrote: "Well, this is raising the stakes."

During an unusual Saturday session at the Capitol in Washington, Democrats pushed the $3.5tn, 10-year spending bill through the House budget committee. At the same time, leaders tried to resolve internal divisions.

Approval by the Democratic-chaired panel was assured, a necessary but minor checking of a procedural box, edging the mammoth bill a step closer to debate by the full House. The committee was not allowed to significantly amend the 2,465-page measure, the product of 13 other committees.

More important work was happening in an opaque procession of calls, meetings and other bargaining sessions among leaders and lawmakers.

Biden, Pelosi and the Senate majority leader, Chuck Schumer, must resolve differences among Democrats over the package's final price tag, which seems…
Guardian staff reporter
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