All eyes are on Congress as Members address pressing issues, a $1.2 trillion bipartisan physical infrastructure package, a $3.5 trillion spending package, and the debt ceiling.
The debt ceiling deadline continues to count down. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the United States will not be able to pay its bills starting October 18.
“I was very pleased we were able to send that legislation back over to the Senate,” Pelosi said of the debt ceiling legislation. However, that debt ceiling bill is expected to fail in the Senate since Republican leadership has indicated they want it written into the $3.5 trillion spending bill.
Democratic leadership in both chambers has said that isn’t going to happen, saying the framework for the spending bill is already set and leadership is working with the president to come to an agreement. “I think the path we are on is leading to that agreement,” Pelosi remarked.
Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has called the $3.5 trillion spending package “fiscal insanity” saying his limit is a $1.5 trillion on the spending package.
Pelosi wouldn’t divulge her conversations with the West Virginia senator, but said they have a good relationship. “You think I’m going to talk with you about my conversations with Joe Manchin up here,” Pelosi jokingly asked a reporter.
“We’re talking about what is important in the legislation,” Pelosi added. “Where can we find our common ground. If I paid attention to everybody’s public statements, oh my goodness.”
However, Pelosi still has to convince her caucus to pass the spending bill, as well as the bipartisan infrastructure package, or BIF.
“We are proceeding in a very positive way to bring up the bill, the BIF, to do so in a way that can win,” she said. “And so far so good for today. It’s moving in a positive direction. It’s impossible though to persuade people to vote for the BIF without the reassurances that the reconciliation bill will occur. And it will.”
It’s expected to be a long evening for Members.
“Let me tell you about negotiating at the end. That’s when you really have to weigh in. You cannot tire. You cannot concede. This is the fun part,” Pelosi said.