Dem Reps Blast Nancy Pelosi For Breaking Commitment to Hold Infrastructure Vote

Two Democratic members of Congress have hit out at Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi after a vote on the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill was delayed due to divisions within the party.

Pelosi postponed a vote scheduled for Thursday after progressive Democrats had suggested they would not vote for it unless it was linked to a separate $3.5 trillion infrastructure package. President Joe Biden visited the Capitol on Friday to meet with Democrats about the bill but no vote took place.

Democrats hope to pass the larger bill using the budget reconciliation process, which will not require Republican support, but progressives have insisted that both bills must advance if they are to back the bipartisan package.

Representative Josh Gottheimer, who serves New Jersey's 5th congressional district, issued a statement on Friday lamenting the failure to hold a vote and criticizing the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC).

"It's deeply regrettable that Speaker Pelosi breached her firm, public commitment to Members of Congress and the American people to hold a vote and to pass the once-in-a-century bipartisan infrastructure bill on or before September 27," Gottheimer's statement said.

He pointed to a press release from Pelosi on August 24 where she said she was "committing to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill by September 27."

Gottheimer said: "Along with a group of Members, I've been working around-the-clock to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill, legislation we helped craft back in April with my Senate colleagues.

"But a small far-left faction of the House of Representatives undermined that agreement and blocked a critical vote on the President's historic bipartisan infrastructure bill."

He accused progressives of using "Freedom Caucus tactics" - citing an article from The New York Times in reference to the right-wing Freedom Caucus of the Republican Party - and said they could "destroy the President's agenda and stop the creation of two million jobs a year."

Gottheimer Statement on Infrastructure:

— Rep Josh Gottheimer (@RepJoshG) October 2, 2021

"This far-left faction is willing to put the President's entire agenda, including this historic bipartisan infrastructure package, at risk," Gottheimer went on. "They've put civility and bipartisan governing at risk."

Gottheimer is co-chair of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus. Another member of that caucus, Representative Stephanie Murphy of Florida's 7th district, also expressed disappointment with the delayed vote.

"The bipartisan infrastructure bill, which would improve quality of life and create jobs for the American people, has been — yet again — delayed. I am profoundly disappointed and disillusioned by this process," Murphy tweeted on Friday.

In a statement, Murphy referenced Speaker Pelosi directly.

"While I have great respect for the Speaker, I believe her decision to again delay a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill is wrong," Murphy said. "The Speaker pledged that the House would consider this bill on September 27 and that she would rally the votes to ensure the bill has the best chance to pass.

"This promise was enshrined in a House resolution that every Democrat supported. This written commitment was the only reason there were enough votes in the House to even start the reconciliation process—that is, to begin the process of writing the Build Back Better Act.

"The Speaker delayed the vote because some of my Democratic colleagues, in a misguided effort to gain 'leverage' over their fellow Democrats in the negotiations on the separate Build Back Better Act, have threatened to vote against a very good infrastructure bill," she said.

"I hope my colleagues will reconsider their approach. Whether they do or not, all members of the House should be required to cast a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill and to accept the consequences of that vote," Murphy added.

Nancy Pelosi Pictured with Joe Biden
President Joe Biden walks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as he arrives to meet with House Democrats at the U.S. Capitol on October 01, 2021 in Washington, DC. Two Democrats have criticized Pelosi for not holding a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images