Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is holding firm on her promise to derail Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” spending spree unless delivered to the House as a single package already passed through the Senate. She says that because the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill was initially tied together with the $3.5 trillion-plus budget reconciliation bill, neither will go forward “if people try to separate them.”
On the Sunday broadcast of “Face the Nation” on CBS, she was asked about comments by some House Democrats that she was not “playing for the team” by refusing to commit to the infrastructure bill previously passed by the Senate with 19 Republican votes added to those of all 50 Democrat senators.
She said that the original agreement going back “several months” was that in the future the infrastructure bill was “tied with our larger Build Back Better agenda.” She said “some folks” have asked why she will not pass the infrastructure bill now and “see everything else later,” and that she responds that both bills will not pass if an attempt is made to separate them.
She called President Biden a “moderate,” although he “understands” the perspectives of the progressive Democrats. She said that the “bad team players” include Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), whose decisions are controlled by “individual sort of preferences.”
Manchin has previously advised Democrats to “hit the pause button” on the Build Back Better plan because of the number of overarching issues facing Congress. He has repeatedly vowed that he will not support the budget reconciliation bill as proposed while suggesting that he might be able to support a bill that includes new spending in the range of $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion.
Problems with “individual preferences” aside, AOC said that she believed the party is “going to come together” in its commitment “for working people.”
In light of the breakdown in negotiations between the White House and the House Progressive Caucus, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has extended the self-imposed deadline for a floor vote in the House on the bipartisan infrastructure bill to the end of this month. She had initially been promised a final vote last Thursday, expecting that she would get the progressives to go with her by then.