Kyrsten Sinema Reportedly Gave Biden an 'Ultimatum' on Infrastructure Plan

Posted: Sep 20, 2021 8:00 AM
Kyrsten Sinema Reportedly Gave Biden an 'Ultimatum' on Infrastructure Plan

Source: AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema reportedly gave President Biden an “ultimatum” on the bipartisan infrastructure plan.

According to Politico’s Playbook, she delivered a “tough message” to the president during a private meeting last week: “If the House delays its scheduled Sept. 27 vote on the bipartisan infrastructure plan — or if the vote fails — she won’t be backing a reconciliation bill.”

Sinema’s office said it wouldn’t disclose details of her private conversations, but added: “She does look forward to House leadership making good on their commitment to an up-or-down vote on the historic and bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act next Monday — to create jobs and expand economic opportunities across the country.”

At least 10 moderate House Democrats are reportedly on the same page as Sinema, including Rep. Kurt Schrader. 

“If they delay the vote — or it goes down — then I think you can kiss reconciliation goodbye,” the Oregon Democrat told Politico’s Playbook. “Reconciliation would be dead.”

Progressive Democrats, meanwhile, are threatening to vote down the infrastructure bill if it’s not with the reconciliation bill, which seems very unlikely to be ready by Sept. 27.

If the vote happens Sept. 27, it’s going to be close. Moderates think progressives are bluffing when they say half their 96-person caucus is willing to vote “no” — especially once Pelosi and Biden start whipping. But even if only 20 progressives oppose the bill, that means the party is going to have to rely on Republicans to pass it, since Pelosi can lose only three votes.

That could be a real problem. Leadership aides have openly acknowledged they don’t know if they have the votes to pass it. While 19 Republicans backed the BIF in the Senate, few expect that level of support to translate to the House, where DONALD TRUMP’s hold on GOP members is much stronger. (Playbook)

Playbook concluded that its passage "does not look promising."