While Pelosi had promised moderate House Democrats the infrastructure bill would be on the floor, progressives threatened to sink it unless it was coupled with a $3.5 trillion spending measure, recognized as the Build Back Better Act, that covers a mixture of social welfare programs.
Republicans are united against the larger bill, and Senate Democratic moderates Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona declined to back $3.5 trillion in new spending, meaning the bill could not pass the Senate. So it was no use for Pelosi to pass it in the House. And she was required to cave on the infrastructure bill because progressives maintained that the other measure be must be considered by the House too or they'd vote against the infrastructure bill.
The White House attempted desperately all week to reach a deal with Manchin and Sinema on the Build Back Better bill, though without success.
'While great progress has been made in the negotiations to develop a House, Senate and White House agreement on the Build Back Better Act, more time is needed to complete the task," Pelosi announced in Dear Colleague letter. "Our priority to create jobs in the health care, family and climate agendas is a shared value. Our Chairs are still working for clarity and consensus. Clearly, the Bipartisan Infrastructure bill will pass once we have agreement on the reconciliation bill."
Pelosi had stated the infrastructure bill would pass. She originally indicated she would put it to a vote Thursday night, yet, she did not. Then she explained it would be voted on Friday, though, she was forced to reverse course again.
Meanwhile, Sinema on Saturday tore into Democratic leadership over what she described as an "inexcusable" failure to hold a vote on a bipartisan infrastructure bill -- a move she announced betrays the trust of the American people.
"The failure of the U.S. House to hold a vote on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is inexcusable, and deeply disappointing for communities across our country," the moderate Democrat said in a lengthy statement. "Denying Americans millions of good-paying jobs, safer roads, cleaner water, more reliable electricity, and better broadband only hurts everyday families."