Nine Democratic lawmakers from the US House of Representatives on Friday threatened to derail the passage of President Joe Biden’s landmark social welfare reform if a key infrastructure bill is not approved first, highlighting party divisions over economic policy.
The moderate Democrats wrote in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that they would thwart the passage of a budget resolution meant to pave the way for the $3.5 trillion social package unless the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill is signed into law first.
The infrastructure bill that funds the construction of roads and bridges across America was approved by the Senate earlier this week with cross-party support, in a big victory for Biden’s administration.
Pelosi had been counting on passing the social bill first and she had summoned lawmakers from their summer recess to vote on the budget resolution at the end of August.
But in their letter to Pelosi, the moderates said that Americans cannot afford more months of delay and that the infrastructure bill should be approved first.
Withholding the nine votes will be enough to block the budget resolution and threaten one of the key projects of Biden’s tenure.
“It’s time to get shovels in the ground and people to work,” the lawmakers wrote.
There was no immediate response from Pelosi’s office.