House to debate, vote on infrastructure package this week

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Debate on a bipartisan infrastructure bill will begin in the House on Monday and go to the floor for a vote three days later, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday.

In a letter to House Democrats, Pelosi, D-Calif., said the vote will come the same day the country's surface transportation act — which authorizes spending on highways, bridges and other infrastructure projects — expires.

The Senate passed the $550 billion infrastructure bill last month with 69 votes, including all 50 Democratic-voting members.

But progressive Democratic House members have threatened to tank the legislation unless moderates agree to pass President Joe Biden's multitrillion-dollar Build Back Better package, which he has pitched as a "long-term investment" to create jobs and lower costs for child care, higher education and prescription drugs.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said last week that over half her 95-member caucus was prepared to vote against the infrastructure package.

"It cannot pass," she told reporters. "I don't bluff. I don't grandstand. We just don't have the votes for it."

The debate is playing out as Senate Republicans threaten to block an extension of the debt limit that would fund the government through Dec. 3.

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