“Let me just say we’re going to pass the bill this week,” Pelosi, D-Calif., said of the infrastructure bill on ABC’s “This Week.” “But you know I’m never bringing a bill to the floor that doesn’t have the votes. And I think any time you put in an arbitrary date… you cannot choose the date, you have to go when you have the votes.”
The House speaker also said on “This Week” that Democrats will “absolutely” need to come to an agreement on the reconciliation package before the infrastructure bill can pass. This was a nod to House progressives who say several dozen of their members will vote against the infrastructure bill without assurances on reconciliation.
“It’s all the wonderful legislative process that we have,” Pelosi said, dismissing comments from “This Week” anchor George Stephanopoulos about how daunting Democrats’ legislative task is.
“Building Back Better has the support of over 95% of our caucus…. There are some who disagree and I respect that about the size of the package, and a couple in the Senate as well,” she continued. “And we have to find our common ground, respectful of each other’s views … this isn’t about moderates versus progressives.”
As part of the negotiating process, Pelosi said it is nearly certain the price tag of the reconciliation bill will drop to a lower number than $ 3.5 trillion.
Pelosi said in a letter to House Democrats Saturday that she plans to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the reconciliation bill by Thursday. That simultaneously gives her some wiggle room on the vote for the infrastructure bill, which was originally planned for Monday but may slip a couple of days, and gives Democrats very little margin for error on the reconciliation bill.
The House Budget Committee in a rare Saturday meeting approved the text for the reconciliation bill with one Democratic “no” vote, but with a wide gulf between party progressives and moderates the bill is subject to change significantly.
Pelosi’s strategy of moving the reconciliation bill so quickly appears to be part of an effort to get progressives on board with the infrastructure bill, which they say they will not vote for unless they have assurances that the reconciliation bill will pass.
It is unclear if the gambit will work, but moderates have expressed confidence that she will be able to whip together enough votes for the infrastructure bill to pass.
Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.