Liberals get ready to grab wheel of Dem agenda

Congress

The Congressional Progressive Caucus’ chief says more than half her 96-member group is willing to block the Senate-passed infrastructure bill later this month without a separate party-line measure.

In this March 1, 2021, file photo, Rep. Pramila Jayapal speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. | Susan Walsh/AP Photo

By SARAH FERRIS, BURGESS EVERETT and HEATHER CAYGLE

09/17/2021 04:56 PM EDT

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Progressives have waited months for their turn to exert control over the Democratic agenda. Now it’s here, and liberal leaders are weighing just how far to go.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s left flank is quietly mulling whether to mobilize its roughly 100-member bloc to tank the centrist-crafted Senate infrastructure bill when it reaches the House floor within a week — unless they’re assured that a mammoth Democrats-only social spending bill will also make it to President Joe Biden’s desk.

Progressive leaders see the coming House infrastructure vote as perhaps their most influential moment so far in Biden’s Washington. They were largely sidelined when Pelosi negotiated her way out of a standoff with centrist Democrats last month, and many are eager to demonstrate that the power of an emboldened left can match that of moderates who’ve repeatedly flexed on leadership over the multitrillion-dollar party-line spending plan.

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