Following a series of meetings between President Joe Biden and moderate and left-wing members of the Democratic Party, members have “reached agreement on a framework” for reconciliation, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday.
The framework “will pay for any final negotiated agreement, so the revenue side we have an agreement on,” Schumer said.
Both Schumer and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi declined to give total dollar amounts for the reconciliation package, but Pelosi added that Democrats “wanted to make sure it was paid for. I’m a pay-go person. Pay as you go.”
“We made great progress this morning because it’s in the writing. You know you hear everyone come out talking about one thing or another, but we are writing legislation,” Pelosi said. “When you are writing legislation you have to be specific.”
Pelosi and Schumer met with President Joe Biden on Wednesday to discuss the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Act, which Democrats intend to pass via the reconciliation process. Biden also met with a group of moderate Democrats led by West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin and Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer. They have expressed concern about the overall price of the legislation as well as provisions like a cap on the state and local tax (SALT) deduction. Manchin in particular has “big problems” with climate provisions in the reconciliation package, he told Politico.
The moderates have threatened to oppose the Build Back Better Act unless the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) passes the House first. The Progressive Caucus, led by Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal, is threatening to block the IIJA if the reconciliation package does not pass the House. (RELATED: Jayapal Accuses Moderates Of Being ‘Willing To Crash Entire Democratic Agenda’)
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced on Tuesday that the IIJA would receive a floor vote on Monday, Sept. 27, in keeping with a promise Pelosi made to Gottheimer. Despite receiving 19 Republican votes in the Senate, GOP leadership in the House is whipping against the bill.
Jayapal has said that more than half of the Progressive Caucus is prepared to block the IIJA, and her members have the support of eleven left-wing Democrats in the Senate. Those senators claimed in a Wednesday letter that passing the IIJA without the Build Back Better Act would “undercut the President’s proposals.”