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House delays vote to advance Biden’s economic agenda as centrist Democrats derail Pelosi’s plans

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) takes questions as she holds her weekly news conference with Capitol Hill reporters at the Capitol in Washington, July 22, 2021.

Elizabeth Frantz | Reuters

The House scrapped a planned Monday vote to advance two key economic bills as centrist Democrats and party leaders failed to break a stalemate over how to proceed with President Joe Biden’s sprawling economic agenda.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has pushed to pass a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and her party’s separate $3.5 trillion spending plan at the same time. The process could take months, as the House needs to join the Senate in passing a budget resolution before lawmakers write a final proposal.

Nine members of Pelosi’s caucus urged the California Democrat to approve the Senate-passed infrastructure legislation this week and send it to Biden’s desk. Pelosi wants to pair the bills to ensure the centrists wary of a $3.5 trillion price tag and progressives who consider the infrastructure plan inadequate back both measures.

Democratic leaders have a tiny margin for error as they try to pass their plan to expand the social safety net without a Republican vote. They will need to win over all 50 members of their Senate caucus and all but three Democrats in the House.

In a letter over the weekend, Pelosi told Democrats she aims to pass both the infrastructure bill and Democrats’ spending plan before Oct. 1.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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