Biden backs Pelosi plan to hold infrastructure deal until Senate passes reconciliation bill

President Biden said Thursday the newly-announced bipartisan infrastructure proposal will work "in tandem" with a Democratic reconciliation bill, vowing he'll refuse to sign the former without the latter.

Biden announced his support for the bipartisan infrastructure deal on Thursday following a meeting with a group of senators. As The New York times explains, Democrats are open to the agreement, "provided that their moderate colleagues accept a second, much larger package that would address key priorities and be passed using the fast-track budget reconciliation process, which would bypass the need for Republican votes in the Senate." Such a deal would be "more expansive than traditional infrastructure" and would be expected to only be supported by Democrats, CNN's Kaitlan Collins writes.

In a news conference, Biden indicated he'll refuse to sign the infrastructure bill without the reconciliation bill.

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"I expect that in the coming months this summer, before the fiscal year is over, that we will have voted on this bill — the infrastructure bill — as well as voted on the budget resolution," he said. "But if only one comes to me, if this is the only thing that comes to me, I'm not signing it. It's in tandem."

His comments came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) promised Thursday that the House of Representatives won't take up the infrastructure package until the Senate passes the reconciliation bill, per The Hill. The Times also reports she told Democrats, "There ain't no infrastructure bill without the reconciliation bill." Biden told reporters Thursday he supports this plan by Pelosi.

"I'm not just signing the bipartisan bill and forgetting about the rest that I proposed," he said.

Pelosi's plan, CNN's Manu Raju wrote, "effectively pressures Manchin and other moderates to fall in line to back reconciliation proposal if they want to see their bipartisan deal become law."

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.