U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., lashed out Friday against a “far-left faction” of the House of Representatives, accusing the group of undermining the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and forcing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to admit more time was needed to pass the proposal.
He claimed that progressive Democrats had put President Biden’s whole agenda and “civility” and bipartisan governance at risk.
“I have been working tirelessly to pass the bipartisan legislation on infrastructure, which I helped draft back in April along with my Senate colleagues,” Gottheimer stated in a Friday statement. A small, far-left group of House Representatives thwarted that deal and prevented a crucial vote on President Obama’s bipartisan infrastructure bill. “
Gottheimer and a group of House moderates had tried to push a quick vote on infrastructure earlier this week.
Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., arrives for a meeting of the House Democratic Caucus on the infrastructure bill in the U.S. Capitol on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021.
Led by House Progressive Caucus chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., the progressive wing forced Pelosi to back off on an infrastructure vote unless it was coupled with the more progressively ambitious $3.5 trillion Build Back Better bill.
“95% of Congressional Democrats support the entire Build Back Better agenda. 70% of voters want us to pass it. We won’t let corporate interests and billionaires stand in the way of delivering,” Jayapal tweeted late Friday.
Gottheimer continued, “This far-left faction is willing to put the President’s entire agenda, including this historic bipartisan infrastructure package, at risk,” Gottheimer continued. They’ve endangered civility, bipartisan governance.
Republicans are united against the larger bill, and Senate Democratic moderates Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona refused to support $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. Progressives demanded that the House also consider the second measure on infrastructure. Otherwise, they would vote against it.
Fox News’ Kyle Morris and The Associated Press contributed to this report.