Reps. Jim Clyburn and John Yarmuth both said Sunday that there is a chance Congress will not vote in time to meet the Sept. 27 deadline for the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi set a date of Sept. 27 for the infrastructure bill the Senate passed in August, which some progressives in the party only agreed to support if the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill was voted on as well. Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Clyburn (D-S.C.) , the House majority whip, said that the passage of the infrastructure bill may not be doable in the time frame since the reconciliation package won’t be done by that time.
“That’s why we have so much work going on now,” Clyburn said. “Our leadership is on this. We are working with everybody in all corners of our party. They’re trying to get to a common ground on all of these issues. And now few are very comfortable that we are going to get there.”
He added: “The question is, are we going to work to get to our goal for Sept. 27? Yes, we are going to work hard to reach that goal, and sometimes you have to kind of stop the clock to get to the goal. We’ll do what’s necessary to get there.“
Yarmuth (D-Ky.), the House budget chair, echoed Clyburn’s prediction, noting that passing the social spending priorities wouldn’t be possible before the vote set for the physical infrastructure package, which has bipartisan support.
“I would say we’re probably going to slip past the Sept. 27 date, sometime into early October would be my best guess,” Yarmuth said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Both members of Congress argued that the components of the reconciliation bill are more important than the price tag, which is garnering push back from members of both parties.
“These are not frivolous matters. If we have a desperate deficiency in social infrastructure in this country, access to affordable child care, the absence of early childhood education, the infrastructure for senior care,” Yarmuth said. “I think that’s what we need to focus on, not the money.”
“I also said last week that we ought to stop focusing on the number and start looking at what needs to be done,” Clyburn said. “And so it may be 3.5, it may be close to that or it may be closer to something else. So I think that we are really focused on the American people and think about what it takes to get us in a good place — and then let the numbers take care of themselves.”