(The Center Square) – The fate of a federal infrastructure bill appears uncertain after comments by representatives from both parties on the legislation as the House returns to session this week.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has said he does not support the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
“As I read the bill now, I could not support it,” McCarthy told Fox Business in an interview last week. “I have a great frustration with this bill.”
He added that no Republican representative will vote for the infrastructure bill if it is tied to the proposed $3.5 trillion reconciliation package, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has said will happen.
The infrastructure bill passed the Senate by a 69-30 vote whereas the reconciliation package passed in a procedural vote, 50-49, along party lines prior to the Senate’s August recess.
The $1.2 trillion dollar infrastructure bill, which passed the Senate earlier this month, funds traditional forms of infrastructure such as roads, bridges, rail, broadband and highways. The $3.5 trillion reconciliation package funds “human infrastructure” such as health care, among other programs, and has only Democratic support.
Pelosi’s intentions to tie the bipartisan bill with the reconciliation package has caused some controversy within her own caucus. Nine moderate Democratic representatives expressed their concerns of tying the bills together in a statement.
“While we appreciate the forward procedural movement on the bipartisan infrastructure agreement, our view remains consistent: We should vote first on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework without delay and then move to immediate consideration of the budget resolution,” the members said.
Reps. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., Filemon Vela, D-Texas, Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, Ed Case, D-Hawaii, Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., Carolyn Bourdeaux, D-Ga., Jared Golden, D-Maine, Vicente Gonzalez, D-Texas, and Jim Costa, D-Calif., signed the statement in response to Pelosi announcing the House’s return to session for next week.
The Democratic Party’s narrow majority in the House, 220-212, creates an uncertain path for the infrastructure bill and the reconciliation package as Pelosi continues to reiterate her desire to tie the two bills together.
In an interview with KPIX CBS last week, Pelosi made clear her intention to pass both the reconciliation bill along with the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
“Right now, when we go back on Monday … we will be voting For The People, the Build Back Better initiative that is the vision of President [Joe] Biden, shared by the Democrats in the House and in the Senate,” Pelosi said. “The bill that was passed, the bipartisan bill is a good bill. It's bipartisan in that but it is not inclusive of all the vision of the president.”
As Pelosi and representatives return to the House Monday, the infrastructure bill’s future now appears unclear, as Pelosi doubled down on the need for substantive change over bipartisan agreements.
“And the President said, I want to find as much bipartisanship as possible, but I'm not confining my vision for the future to what that is,” Pelosi said. “We have to do better. That's what we are going back to doing on Monday.”