AOC threatens 'no' vote on infrastructure if Democrats don't provide social spending bill text

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY., said that she will vote against her party’s infrastructure bill if it comes to a vote Thursday because Democrats have not provided enough details on what will be in the larger social spending bill.

“I don’t see how ethically I can vote to increase U.S. climate emissions,” Ocasio-Cortez said Wednesday, noting that a “framework” of President Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan isn’t enough detail to sway her vote on infrastructure. “We have had a framework for six months. We need text.”

UNITED STATES – JULY 1: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. 
( (Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images))

The New York lawmaker’s comments come as moderate Democrats and the party’s more progressive faction have feuded over the details of the proposed social spending plan, with progressives threatening to vote “no” on the infrastructure plan unless the two bills are voted on side-by-side.

But earlier Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., expressed optimism that the party was closing in on a deal in a letter to Democrats.

“As we have insisted, we are close to agreement on the priorities and the topline of the legislation, which can and must pass the House and Senate,” Pelosi said a letter. “At the same time, we are facing a crucial deadline for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework to pass.”

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Pelosi also said that she asked the House Rules Committee to hold a hearing Thursday to “advance this spectacular agenda For The People,” though a bill has yet to be written, and it is unclear what details the hearing may produce that could sway progressive members to get behind the infrastructure bill.

“If we had a deal, as you know, we would be telling you about it,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday, as the White House pushes lawmakers to come to an agreement.

UNITED STATES – JUNE 17: Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., right, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., attend a bill enrollment ceremony for the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act in the Capitol on Thursday, June 17, 2021.
(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call, Inc)

Pelosi’s call for a Rules Committee meeting could signal her intent to put pressure on her progressive colleagues and be an attempt to show momentum behind the legislation, but some believe divisions still remain.

“Not sure if she really thinks she can will this thing through, but the votes are not there,” a progressive aide said. 

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