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Sinema blasts party leadership’s ‘inexcusable’ decision to cancel vote on $1T infrastructure bill 

A Democratic senator from Arizona is slamming leaders of her own party over their ‘inexcusable’ failure to hold a vote on the $1.2trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan.

Sen. Krysten Sinema, taking to Twitter Saturday, called the canceled vote ‘deeply disappointing’ and a betrayal of the trust of the American people.

‘The failure of the U.S. House to hold a vote on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is inexcusable, and deeply disappointing for communities across our country,’ Sinema wrote.

‘Denying Americans millions of good-paying jobs, safer roads, cleaner water, more reliable electricity, and better broadband only hurts everyday families.’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi canceled the vote on the Senate-passed infrastructure bill on Thursday as several far-left caucus members vowed to tank President Joe Biden’s $1trillion infrastructure plan, which centrists support, if the moderate faction does not also back the broader $3.5trillion social spending bill that is packed with their priorities. 

Although Democrats did not have enough votes to pass the infrastructure bill, Sinema argues that cancelling it was ‘an ineffective stunt to gain leverage over a separate proposal.’

Sen. Krysten Sinema (D-Ariz.) slammed Democratic leaders on Saturday over their ‘inexcusable’ failure to hold a vote on the $1.2trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan

‘My vote belongs to Arizona, and I do not trade my vote for political favors — I vote based only on what is best for my state and the country,’ she said. 

‘I have never, and would never, agree to any bargain that would hold one piece of legislation hostage to another.’

Sinema also argued that she worked to deliver the infrastructure bill while also engaging in ‘good faith negotiations’ on the reconciliation package.  

‘Good-faith negotiations, however, require trust. Over the course of this year, Democratic leaders have made conflicting promises that could not all be kept — and have, at times, pretended that differences of opinion within our party did not exist, even when those disagreements were repeatedly made clear directly and publicly,’ she stated.

‘Canceling the infrastructure vote further erodes that trust. More importantly, it betrays the trust the American people have placed in their elected leaders and denies our country crucial investments to expand economic opportunities.’ 

In a statement released on Twitter, Sinema argued that delaying the vote was 'deeply disappointing' and a betrayal of the trust of the American people.

In a statement released on Twitter, Sinema argued that delaying the vote was ‘deeply disappointing’ and a betrayal of the trust of the American people.

Sinema’s comments came after the third time the vote was delayed this week.

Pelosi previously vowed to bring the measure to the floor on Monday and Thursday, signaling a deepening stalemate even as party leaders insist progress is being made. She admitted that ‘more time is needed’ after the two sides failed to reach a deal on the broader $3.5 trillion spending package. 

However, she also issued a letter Saturday to fellow Democrats stating that she wants the legislation to be passed before the end of the month. 

‘There is an October 31st Surface Transportation Authorization deadline, after last night’s passage of a critical 30-day extension. We must pass [Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework] well before then – the sooner the better, to get the jobs out there,’ Pelosi wrote. 

‘We will and must pass both bills soon. We have the responsibility and the opportunity to do so. People are waiting and want results.’    

Both Sinema’s and Pelosi’s statements were released just hours after President Joe Biden acknowledged frustrations as Democrats strain to rescue a scaled-back version of his $3.5 trillion government-overhaul plan and salvage a related public works bill after frantic negotiations failed to produce a deal.

‘Everybody’s frustrated, it’s part of being in government, being frustrated,’ Biden told reporters Saturday before leaving the White House for a weekend stay at his home in Wilmington, Delaware. 

He pledged to ‘work like hell’ to get the two pillars of his domestic agenda passed into law, but refrained from laying out a new deadline. 

‘I support both of them. And I think we can get them both done,’ he told Fox News.

The White House also released a statement Saturday arguing that Biden left a meeting with caucus Democrats on Friday ‘with the firm belief that there was a shared commitment from across the Democratic Caucus to deliver for the American people.’

‘The President and his team will continue close engagement with Members of both the House and the Senate through the weekend,’ the statement read.

‘And he looks forward to not only welcoming Members to the White House next week, but also traveling the country to make the case for his bold and ambitious agenda.’ 

Sinema's comments come after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (front, right) released a statement saying she wanted the legislation passed by the end of October and as President Joe Biden (back, left) expressed frustrations over the failed negotiations

Sinema’s comments come after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (front, right) released a statement saying she wanted the legislation passed by the end of October and as President Joe Biden (back, left) expressed frustrations over the failed negotiations

The president had gone to Capitol Hill on Friday for a private meeting with House Democrats that was partly a morale booster for the disjointed caucus of lawmakers. 

The president offered to slash more than a trillion dollars from his mammoth spending bill, in an attempt to save his political agenda from warring factions in his own party. 

In a desperate bid to appease the moderate holdouts, Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, Biden in private meetings on Capitol Hill pleaded with House progressives to agree to cut some $1.5 trillion from the broader bill, according to lawmakers in the room.

‘Manchin and Sinema — should we just call them co-president at this point,’ grumbled one Democrat leaving the meeting, according to The Hill. ‘Is that what it’s come down to?’

In his private meeting with the House Democratic caucus, Biden told the lawmakers that ‘I know a little bit about the legislative process,’ a person familiar with the private remarks told the AP.

The president also relayed an anecdote fit for the moment, telling them that when he moved into the Oval Office, he installed pictures of Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt, presidents who respectively led a ‘deeply divided country and the biggest economic transformation – and that’s just the kind of moment we’re in,’ according to Rep. David Cicilline, a Rhode Island Democrat.

Biden spent less than an hour with House Democrats during the rare presidential visit to Capitol Hill.

As he left he appeared to concede tensions between progressives and centrists within his own party needed more than a quick bit of sweet talking if he was to save his domestic agenda. 

Biden attributed the frustration to the atmosphere at the capital, but assured Americans that the bills were popular enough to pass. 

‘I’m a realist. I know how legislation gets done. There’s no reason why both bills can’t pass.’ 

‘It doesn’t matter if it is six minutes, six days or six weeks. We are going to get it done.’ 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, ‘While great progress has been made in the negotiations… more time is needed to complete the task. 

After Pelosi again called off a planned vote on infrastructure in the face of progressive opposition, moderate House Democrats slammed the move as ‘a sad day for our nation’ and asked for the bill to be brought to the floor immediately. 

According to lawmakers in the room, Biden had also discussed a $1.9 trillion to $2 trillion-plus price tag for the larger package that would expand the country’s social safety net.

The White House and its allies in Congress are prepared for protracted negotiations. 

President Joe Biden admitted 'everyone is frustrated' regarding the stalled passing of his $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill in the House

President Joe Biden admitted ‘everyone is frustrated’ regarding the stalled passing of his $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill in the House

Biden said he would work 'like hell' to get the bill passed before going home for the weekend

Biden said he would work ‘like hell’ to get the bill passed before going home for the weekend

Senator Joe Manchin

Senator Krysten Sinema

Senators Joe Manchin, left, and Krysten Sinema, both moderate Democrats, are the key holdouts preventing the party from passing the ambitious spending bills

Biden added that he would soon travel around the country to promote the legislation and he acknowledged concerns that the talk in Washington had become too focused on the trillions in new spending and taxes in the bill.

He pledged to do more to educate the public about the plan’s new and expanded programs, which he contended have the support of the vast majority of the electorate.

‘I’m going to try to sell what I think the American people will buy,’ Biden said Saturday, adding, ‘I believe that when the American people are aware of what´s in it we´ll get it done.’

The president said he believed the legislation will be signed into law with ‘plenty of time to change the tax code for people next year.’

It’s a pivotal time for Biden and the party. His approval ratings have dropped and Democrats are restless, eager to deliver on his signature campaign promise of rebuilding the country. 

His ideas go beyond roads-and-bridges infrastructure to delivering dental, vision and hearing care for seniors, free prekindergarten, major efforts to tackle climate change and other investments that would touch countless American lives.

Manchin, of West Virginia, had dashed hopes for a swift compromise on a framework when he refused to budge late Thursday on his demands for a smaller overall package, about $1.5 trillion.

Manchin stands against the 96-member strong Congressional Progressive Caucus, who have banded together in a voting bloc against the infrastructure plan until Senate moderates agree to support the broader social agenda.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chair of the caucus, condemned moderates for standing in the way of the bigger spending package.

‘We won’t let massive corporations, billionaires, and a few conservative Democrats stand in the way of delivering transformational progress for millions of working people,’ she said

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Cori Bush blasted Manchin for now demanding that Democrats trim the budget package to $1.5 trillion after backing an earlier version of the massive plan.

‘We need to be serious and right now when we are seeing from the conservative side and the small cadre of people is a fundamentally unserious pattern of negotiation,’ Ocasio-Cortez told ABC News.

Without a broader deal, prospects for a vote on the companion public works bill stalled out as progressives refused to commit until senators reached agreement. 

Pelosi told colleagues that ‘more time is needed’ as they shape the broader package.

The House passed a 30-day measure to keep transportation programs running during the stalemate, essentially setting a new deadline for talks, October 31. 

The Senate was set to follow with a vote Saturday, to halt the furloughs of more than 3,500 federal transportation workers, a byproduct of the political impasse.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus,

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Progressives are flexing their muscles. Led by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (left), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (right) they are threatening to tank Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure bill

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress will vote again on the Bill on Monday or Tuesday, after having to delay it three times

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress will vote again on the Bill on Monday or Tuesday, after having to delay it three times

With Republicans solidly opposed to Biden’s sweeping vision, the president and Democrats are reaching for a giant legislative accomplishment on their own – all to be paid for by rewriting federal balance sheets with tax increases on corporations and the wealthy, those earning more than $400,000 a year. 

The larger of Biden’s proposals is a years-in-the-making collection of Democratic priorities with an ultimate price tag he says is zero, because the tax revenue would cover the spending costs. 

The White House and Democrats also are focusing on raising the nation’s borrowing limit before the United States risks defaulting on its obligations – a deadline the Treasury Department estimates will be reached no later than October 18. 

The House has already acted, but Republicans senators have indicated they will not provide votes for bipartisan passage and want Democrats to go it alone.

‘I hope that the Republicans won’t be so irresponsible as to refuse to raise the debt limit and to filibuster the debt limit,’ Biden said Saturday. ‘That would be totally unconscionable. Never been done before. And so I hope that won’t happen.” 

Isn’t it all a bit late, Joe? Biden reveals he’ll tour the country next week to sell his scaled back $2.3T budget package after humiliating no-vote and admits, ‘everyone is frustrated’

A casually dressed President Joe Biden acknowledged frustrations as Democrats strain to rescue a scaled-back version of his $3.5 trillion government-overhaul plan and salvage a related public works bill after frantic negotiations failed to produce a deal.

‘Everybody’s frustrated, it’s part of being in government, being frustrated,’ Biden told reporters before leaving the White House for a weekend stay at his home in Wilmington, Delaware. 

He pledged to ‘work like hell’ to get the two pillars of his domestic agenda passed into law, but refrained from laying out a new deadline.

President Joe Biden admitted 'everyone is frustrated' regarding the stalled passing of his $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill in the House

President Joe Biden admitted ‘everyone is frustrated’ regarding the stalled passing of his $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill in the House

Biden said he would work 'like hell' to get the bill passed before going home for the weekend

Biden said he would work ‘like hell’ to get the bill passed before going home for the weekend

The president had gone to Capitol Hill on Friday for a private meeting with House Democrats that was partly a morale booster for the disjointed caucus of lawmakers.

During the meeting, Biden had offered to slash more than a trillion dollars from his mammoth spending bill in an attempt to save his political agenda from warring factions in his own party. 

Progressives are refusing to move forward with the infrastructure bill until they can be sure centrists will not water down the bigger, $3.5trillion proposal. It proposes hiking taxes on the nation’s wealthiest in order to fund a huge round of spending on free education, social care and green measures. 

In the Senate, moderates Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema are key holdouts who have advocated for greater slashes to the president’s infrastructure bill. 

Biden attributed the frustration the usual atmosphere at the capital, but assured Americans that the bills were popular enough to pass. 

‘I’m a realist. I know how legislation gets done. There’s no reason why both bills can’t pass.’ 

Biden arrived at Delaware on Saturday morning. He plans to stay the weekend before going on a cross country trip to promote his signature spending bills

Biden arrived at Delaware on Saturday morning. He plans to stay the weekend before going on a cross country trip to promote his signature spending bills 

Biden, left, came down to the Capitol to meet with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and fellow Democrats on October 1. The party is split over the proposed bills

Biden, left, came down to the Capitol to meet with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and fellow Democrats on October 1. The party is split over the proposed bills

Senator Joe Manchin

Senator Krysten Sinema

Senators Joe Manchin, left, and Krysten Sinema, both moderate Democrats, are the key holdouts preventing the party from passing the ambitious spending bills

BREAK DOWN OF THE $1.2T BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE BILL

$110 billion for roads and bridges

$39 billion for public transit

$66 billion for railways

$65 billion for expanding broadband internet 

$25 billion to repair major airports

$7.5 billion for the first-ever network of charging stations for electric vehicles

$21 billion to respond to environmental concerns like pollution

$73 billion to modernize America’s energy grid 

FUNDING

$650 billion in funding for the bill comes from existing, planned investments in the country’s roads, highways and bridges

The remaining $550 billion over the next five years requires new spending 

Democrats wanted to fund the rest through tax revenues like a new gas tax

Republicans wanted to raise money through fees issues on those who use the new infrastructure

The bipartisan compromise, sure to raise heated debate, proposed using $205 billion in untapped COVID-19 relief aid and unemployment assistance that was turned away by some states

 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, ‘While great progress has been made in the negotiations… more time is needed to complete the task. 

After Pelosi again called off a planned vote on infrastructure in the face of progressive opposition, moderate House Democrats slammed the move as ‘a sad day for our nation’ and asked for the bill to be brought to the floor immediately. 

According to lawmakers in the room, Biden had also discussed a $1.9 trillion to $2 trillion-plus price tag for the larger package that would expand the country’s social safety net.

The White House and its allies in Congress are prepared for protracted negotiations. 

Biden added that he would soon travel around the country to promote the legislation and he acknowledged concerns that the talk in Washington had become too focused on the trillions in new spending and taxes in the bill.

He pledged to do more to educate the public about the plan’s new and expanded programs, which he contended have the support of the vast majority of the electorate.

‘I’m going to try to sell what I think the American people will buy,’ Biden said Saturday, adding, ‘I believe that when the American people are aware of what´s in it we´ll get it done.’

The president said he believed the legislation will be signed into law with ‘plenty of time to change the tax code for people next year.’

It’s a pivotal time for Biden and the party. His approval ratings have dropped and Democrats are restless, eager to deliver on his signature campaign promise of rebuilding the country. 

His ideas go beyond roads-and-bridges infrastructure to delivering dental, vision and hearing care for seniors, free prekindergarten, major efforts to tackle climate change and other investments that would touch countless American lives.

Manchin, of West Virginia, had dashed hopes for a swift compromise on a framework when he refused to budge late Thursday on his demands for a smaller overall package, about $1.5 trillion.

Manchin stands against the 96-member strong Congressional Progressive Caucus, who have banded together in a voting bloc against the infrastructure plan until Senate moderates agree to support the broader social agenda.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chair of the caucus, condemned moderates for standing in the way of the bigger spending package.

‘We won’t let massive corporations, billionaires, and a few conservative Democrats stand in the way of delivering transformational progress for millions of working people,’ she said

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Cori Bush blasted Manchin for now demanding that Democrats trim the budget package to $1.5 trillion after backing an earlier version of the massive plan.

‘We need to be serious and right now when we are seeing from the conservative side and the small cadre of people is a fundamentally unserious pattern of negotiation,’ Ocasio-Cortez told ABC News.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus,

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Progressives are flexing their muscles. Led by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (left), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (right) they are threatening to tank Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure bill

Without a broader deal, prospects for a vote on the companion public works bill stalled out as progressives refused to commit until senators reached agreement. 

Pelosi told colleagues that ‘more time is needed’ as they shape the broader package.

The House passed a 30-day measure to keep transportation programs running during the stalemate, essentially setting a new deadline for talks, October 31. 

The Senate was set to follow with a vote Saturday, to halt the furloughs of more than 3,500 federal transportation workers, a byproduct of the political impasse.

With Republicans solidly opposed to Biden’s sweeping vision, the president and Democrats are reaching for a giant legislative accomplishment on their own – all to be paid for by rewriting federal balance sheets with tax increases on corporations and the wealthy, those earning more than $400,000 a year.

The larger of Biden’s proposals is a years-in-the-making collection of Democratic priorities with an ultimate price tag he says is zero, because the tax revenue would cover the spending costs.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress will vote again on the Bill on Monday or Tuesday, after having to delay it three times

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress will vote again on the Bill on Monday or Tuesday, after having to delay it three times

‘We will and must pass both bills soon,’ Pelosi said in a letter Saturday to fellow Democrats. ‘We have the responsibility and the opportunity to do so. People are waiting and want results.’

The White House and Democrats also are focusing on raising the nation’s borrowing limit before the United States risks defaulting on its obligations – a deadline the Treasury Department estimates will be reached no later than October 18. 

The House has already acted, but Republicans senators have indicated they will not provide votes for bipartisan passage and want Democrats to go it alone.

‘I hope that the Republicans won’t be so irresponsible as to refuse to raise the debt limit and to filibuster the debt limit,’ Biden said Saturday. ‘That would be totally unconscionable. Never been done before. And so I hope that won’t happen.´´

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