Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) kept the $1.5 trillion reconciliation signed deal with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) hidden from Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) until this week, Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) told CNN on Friday.
“She had no knowledge of that until this week,” Dingell said of the senators’ agreement that was revealed Thursday.
The signed document by both men states the “topline” number for the reconciliation package would be $1.5 trillion with debate on the package beginning no later than October 1. The agreement also stipulates agreement on raising the corporate tax rate to 25 percent, the top tax rate on income to 39.6 percent, and the capital gains tax rate to 28 percent.
It is unknown why Schumer would withhold the signed promise from Pelosi. But the surprise of the agreement was likely not a happy one for the House speaker, as the House Democrats have been looking for assurances the reconciliation package would include many radical measures.
Though Manchin’s agreement with Schumer includes tax hikes and $1.5 trillion in spending on top of the $1.2 “bipartisan” infrastructure bill, the far-left in the House have said the original $3.5 trillion topline number is not enough spending and falls short of the assurances they seek.
As a result, the far-left, led by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), are opposing the “bipartisan” bill until a framework is hammered out on the reconciliation package.
“I have never seen our caucus so strong,” Jayapal said about the opposition to the “bipartisan” bill. “And I’m a very good vote counter, also, maybe not quite as good as Nancy Pelosi sometimes, but I’m excellent.”
Jayapal’s shot over the bow at Pelosi is consistent with socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) critique on Thursday of Pelosi’s strategy of passing President Biden’s radical agenda.
“It is an absurd way to do business, to be negotiating a multi trillion dollar bill. A few minutes before a major vote with virtually nobody knowing what’s going on,” Bernie told reporters. “That’s unacceptable.”
Because of the infighting and Schumer and Manchin’s secret document, Pelosi did not proceed on Thursday with her promised vote on the bill. It is unknown if Friday will bring any resolution to the infighting or produce a vote for the “bipartisan” bill.
Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø.