Washington DC, Sep 30 (EFE).- Disagreements between the centrist and leftist sections of the Democratic Party forced United States’ House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday to delay the approval of a $1 trillion infrastructure plan promoted by the Joe Biden administration.
The plan, which was passed by the Senate weeks ago with bi-partisan support, is one of the two key parts of Biden’s economic agenda and involves rebuilding roads and bridges.
The other part, which only has the support of most Democrats and has not yet been approved by any of the houses, seeks to expand social programs, combat climate crisis, and raise taxes on large, rich businesses.
The White House and the leftist faction want the cost of this second part to amount to $3.5 trillion dollars, although it will probably end up being lower.
To placate the centrist section, more interested in the infrastructure plan, Pelosi scheduled its approval in the Lower House for Thursday.
However, the leftist faction, fearing the $3.5 trillion plan would be cornered, warned that if the two were not passed at the same time, they would oppose the first.
Led by Senator Bernie Sanders, 97 Congressmen of the so-called “Progressive Caucus” stood firm and forced Pelosi to suspend Thursday’s vote shortly before midnight and after hours of negotiations so that the Biden plan would not be defeated in a Democratic-majority lower house.
White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement that the agreement was close to materializing, and they needed a little more time to conclude it.
Joe Manchin, one of the two Democratic senators who oppose the $3.5 trillion plan and whose vote is necessary for approval, told reporters that he and his colleagues are continuing negotiations and would continue to do so.
Manchin has said he would only support the $1.5 trillion plan.
The Progressives, on their part, underlined they were only defending Biden’s agenda and his promises during last November’s presidential elections. EFE