De facto speaker? AOC warns House will block infrastructure if Senate does not pass reconciliation bill

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) proclaimed on Sunday that there would be “more than enough” votes to keep a bipartisan infrastructure bill from passing in the House if the Democrats’ companion spending bill is not passed through reconciliation.

“If there’s not a reconciliation bill in the House and if the Senate does not pass a reconciliation bill, we will uphold our end of the bargain and not pass the bipartisan bill until we get all of these investments in,” Ocasio-Cortez told host Jake Tapper on CNN.

“So, we really need to see that language and see what’s put in there … when it reaches the House,” she told Tapper. “Bipartisan doesn’t always mean that it’s in the interests of the public good, frankly. Sometimes, there’s a lot of corporate lobbyist giveaways in some of these bills.”

Ocasio-Cortez also noted that “a very large amount” of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) would oppose the bipartisan infrastructure package without the reconciliation bill. “The total amount is about 90. I am not the whip” of the CPC, she stated. “But what I can tell you is that it’s certainly more than three. And it is in the double digits, absolutely.”

(Video Credit: The Washington Post)

“I respect that we have to get Sen. Sinema and Manchin’s vote on reconciliation,” Ocasio-Cortez acknowledged.

Senators have released the 2,700-page infrastructure package for review that will cost Americans $1.2 trillion. But progressives are tying it to the massive $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill which fulfills the Democrats’ pork wishlist. The Democrats contend that the infrastructure bill just doesn’t go far enough to advance their agenda.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has also warned she will not hold a vote on the infrastructure package in the House unless the reconciliation bill is passed in the Senate. It is very unlikely that will happen so the infrastructure bill may die as a result of Democratic demands.

Bolstering the fact that the infrastructure deal is in jeopardy, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) also told CNN that he couldn’t guarantee that the “human infrastructure” reconciliation package will pass in the Senate. He’s calling for a “quid pro quo” to compromise on the two bills. That is also unlikely to happen.

According to Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer, the final vote could be held within the next few days. The infrastructure bill includes $550 billion in new spending over the next five fives for the nation’s roads, bridges, waterworks, public transit, railways, the electricity grid, and broadband.

“We know that this has been a long and sometimes difficult process, but we are proud this evening to announce this legislation,” declared Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). Bucking her party, she does not support the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill. That’s bad news for the reconciliation bill as it would take the support of every Democrat for it to pass.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) spoke to CNN earlier on Sunday and predicted that enough Republicans would support the bipartisan infrastructure bill to pass the Senate this week.

“We really are just about finished,” she asserted and added that “large parts of the text have been shared with Senate offices.”

“This bill is good for America,” Collins declared. “Every senator can look at bridges and roads, the need for more broadband, waterways in their states, seaports, airports and see the benefits, the very concrete benefits — no pun intended — of this legislation.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) tweeted on Sunday, “Rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure is important. Addressing the long-neglected needs of working families is even more important. And we MUST address the existential threat of climate change. There can be no infrastructure bill without a reconciliation bill.”

Ocasio-Cortez was slammed on Twitter:

And so was Susan Collins:

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