U.S. Rep. Jared Golden of Maine’s 2nd District accused top House Democrats of “double-dealing” after they again delayed a vote on a bipartisan infrastructure bill after indicating earlier this summer it would not be linked to a larger budget bill.
Golden and eight other moderate Democrats had called for the House to vote on the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package after it passed the Senate, without waiting for a larger budget package that Democrats expected to pass through the reconciliation process without any Republican votes. Democrats inked a deal in late August to move the infrastructure bill by Sep. 27.
But that fell apart in recent days as progressive House members, frustrated by statements from two Senate moderates skeptical of the reconciliation bill, said they would vote against the first bill until they had greater certainty that the larger package would also move forward.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said earlier this week that a vote on the infrastructure bill would take place on Thursday, but delayed the vote late in the evening as negotiations continued on the budget bill.
In a Friday morning statement, Golden said it would be “difficult” for him to take House leaders at their word after the delay, saying they had “deeply eroded any credibility or trust they had with me.”
“The infrastructure bill should be voted on now and on its own merits. The president’s proposed Build Back Better legislation should be voted on separately and on its own merits,” he said. “Only those who are unwilling to compromise and build consensus, or who lack confidence in their own proposal, would try to leverage one in order to secure the other.”
He added that he still planned to vote for the infrastructure bill when it comes up in the House, but would not make a commitment to voting for the budget reconciliation bill until the final text was available.