Politics

‘An Impossible Position’: Moderate Democrat Won’t Vote For Reconciliation In Committee Unless She Sees Bill ‘In Its Entirety’

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Reporter
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The leader of a group of moderate Democrats in the House of Representatives promised Thursday to vote against the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package in committee unless she sees the “bill in its entirety.”

“I think that’s asking for the absolute minimum,” Democratic Florida Rep. Stephanie Murphy said during a House Ways and Means Committee hearing. Murphy is the co-chair of administration for the Blue Dog Coalition, and has previously called on House leadership to pass the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) before passing the budget reconciliation package.

Murphy said that she supports the use of the reconciliation process to pass legislation “because of Republican obstruction,” but added that she doesn’t “know how much we’re spending, how much we’re raising, how we’re spending some of the money, and how we’re raising any of the money.”

The House Ways and Means Committee is responsible for all legislation that raises revenue, including taxes and tariffs.

Murphy blamed “an artificial deadline… driven by politics rather than policy” for the “impossible position” she is in.

“We need more time to get this process right,” she continued.

Murphy’s office told the Daily Caller that her comments relate solely to her objections to the committee process, and not a stance on a final bill.

House Democrats passed a rule Aug. 24 mandating a vote for the reconciliation package by Sept. 27, following intense intraparty negotiations. Murphy and nine other moderate Democrats balked at voting for reconciliation before the IIJA, while a group of far-left Democrats led by New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal threatened to tank the IIJA if the House and Senate do not pass the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package. (RELATED: Congress Faces An Absolutely Brutal September Filled With High-Stakes Deadlines)

A deal between Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and the moderates, led by New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer, requires that the IIJA also be voted on by Sept. 27.

However, with a margin of only four votes in the House, and zero votes in the Senate, Democratic leadership has very little margin for error. Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin has urged Congress to “hit the pause button” on the reconciliation package, and Democratic Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has said $3.5 trillion would be too expensive for her to support.

Murphy also appeared to worry about the price of the package.

“I don’t think we can afford to do everything. As a legislator, I have to prioritize and make tough choices,” she said.

This story has been updated to clarify that Murphy has only objected to the bill in the House Ways and Means Committee.