Pelosi Delays Infrastructure Vote to Thursday As Democrats Race to Unite Caucus

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Sunday night that a vote on the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill will be delayed until Thursday, as Democrats scramble to unify progressives and moderates fighting over the size and scope of the $3.5 trillion spending package.

With a possible government shutdown looming, President Joe Biden's economic agenda faces a crucial week on Capitol Hill. Democratic leaders will need to bridge internal divisions in their fractured caucus to pass the two bills, and the Senate is expected to vote on a stopgap funding bill that would head off a federal shutdown.

The House will begin debate on the infrastructure framework Monday and vote on it Thursday, Pelosi told her members in a letter.

The infrastructure vote was originally set for Monday, although top Democrats have signaled since last week that it would likely slip past the deadline.

Among the major investments, the "hard infrastructure" bill includes funding for roads and highways, bridges, broadband development, water support and airport projects.

Earlier today, Pelosi expressed confidence that the infrastructure bill, which passed the Senate August 10, and the spending package could both pass this week—although she hasn't set a date to bring the larger package to the floor.

Pelosi Democrats moderates progressives infrastructure spending bill
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) listens as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives remarks outside of her office in the U.S. Capitol on September 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

"I'm never bringing a bill to the floor that doesn't have the votes," she said on ABC's This Week.

Progressive and moderates have yet to reach a consensus on the spending package, which provides funding to combat climate change, expand health care and deliver free community college.

Moderate senators, including Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, say the price tag of the spending package is too high and want Democrats to pass the infrastructure bill quickly. Progressives have threatened to vote against the infrastructure bill unless the larger bill is passed in tandem.

Pelosi signaled earlier today that the $3.5 spending package will be slimmed down to appease moderates. Shortly after, Representative Pramila Jayapal, chair of the congressional progressive caucus, indicated that her members were open to trimming the package.

"What we've said is we are happy to hear what it is that somebody wants to cut. So far, we have not seen any negotiation back from the Senate. We understand, Margaret, that we have to get every Democrat onboard in the House and the Senate, we don't have the margins to do anything except that," the Washington Democrat said on CBS' Face the Nation.

The Senate is scheduled to hold a procedural vote Monday on House-passed legislation to fund the federal government until early December and avoid a debt default. Republicans oppose extending the debt ceiling and intend to vote against the bill.

The Democrat-led House Budget Committee voted Saturday 20-17 to advance individual components of the spending package that had been approved by over a dozen committees earlier this month.

Rep. Scott Peters of California was the lone Democrat who crossed party lines to vote with Republicans against advancing the measure.

Newsweek reached out to Pelosi's office for additional information.