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Jayapal says progressives will reduce $3.5T spending demand

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Jayapal says progressives will reduce $3.5T spending demand

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Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal acknowledged that the total price tag of the controversial spending bill currently being debated on Capitol Hill will have to be lowered in order to push it through Congress.

“We’re going to have to come down in our number,” Jayapal said Friday after leaving a meeting with the Democratic caucus. “We’re going to get to work and see what we can do”

Jayapal said that Democrats will attempt to vote on the surface transportation bill on Friday night but will not vote on the infrastructure bill today.

Jayapal added that President Biden, who is currently on Capitol Hill negotiating his infrastructure package, gave “no timetable” on when the bill would be voted on.

After leaving the meeting, President Biden said that it “doesn’t matter if it’s in six minutes – six days – six weeks…we will get it done”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had previously assured the public that a vote on the massive $3.4 trillion infrastructure package would happen by the end of the week.

“We’re not trillions apart,” she said at 12:01 a.m Friday morning. “There’ll be a vote today.” But Jayapal suggested that was not going to happen.

Pelosi said the bill would pass, vowing Sunday to never bring “a bill to the floor that doesn’t have the votes.” But her attempt to get the bill to the floor for a vote was thwarted Thursday after progressives warned her that “a majority of our members will only vote for the infrastructure bill after the President’s visionary Build Back Better Act passes.”

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Progressives followed through on their longstanding threats that they will hold up the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill without a simultaneous vote on the sweeping $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill.

The feud now threatens two of Biden’s top legislative priorities as the divide within the Democratic Party deepens and the progressives’ power increases.

Fox News’ Emma Colton, Chad Pergram, and Jacqui Heinrich contributed to this report

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