Saturday, October 23, 2021

Don’t look now, but Nancy Pelosi’s colleagues are gearing up for a $1 trillion infrastructure plan

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Democrats, who took control of the House for the first time in eight years last month, took the floor on Monday night for a tradition known as a “New York minute,” where Democrats begin the second week of the first year with an enthusiastic pep talk for their colleagues. The goal was to come out fighting for certain bills that have previously gone nowhere, including an infrastructure plan and measures to provide equal rights for transgender and queer people.

“I am urging each and every member of this body to strive to do our jobs effectively.”

— Nancy Pelosi, incoming House speaker

A day later, House Democrats said on Monday that they plan to go ahead with multiple bills and amendments, raising concerns about President Donald Trump’s tendency to use his executive powers to thwart congressional initiatives.

Last week, House Democrats defeated an effort by Republicans to gut last year’s bipartisan tax reform, which was passed on a narrow party-line vote in December 2017. They also voted down an effort by Democrats to negotiate with the Trump administration to shore up the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which provides work visas to about 800,000 immigrants who entered the country illegally as children.

The Democratic leader in the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, described the Democratic opposition to Trump as part of a strategy aimed at ensuring that lawmakers are responsive to the people they represent.

“I am urging each and every member of this body to strive to do our jobs effectively. We need each other, and you need us. The two cannot work separately. In times of crisis, we need each other. We have jobs to do and we need to move forward. We have to address and repair and uplift the lives of the people we serve.”

— Nancy Pelosi, incoming House speaker

On Thursday, Democrats will take the floor to make their opening salvo, introducing a $1 trillion infrastructure plan, using the one-year anniversary of Trump’s inauguration to present themselves as working-class defenders. It will include federal and state funding, according to House Democratic leadership aides. The plan is expected to serve as a blueprint for Trump, who plans to call on Congress to approve $1.5 trillion in infrastructure spending over 10 years, according to the White House.

The plan comes ahead of a Feb. 8 deadline for Trump to declare whether he intends to end DACA. The Democratic plan includes funding for the border wall with Mexico as well as billions for fixing roads, bridges and other transportation infrastructure. It is expected to include provisions that protect workers in industries like farming, fishing and manufacturing from wage discrimination and repeal a tax-exempt status for some types of pension plans.

–Jerry Markon/News21

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