The House of Representatives voted in favor of advancing Senator Bernie Sanders’ $3.5 trillion budget proposal, the Senate-passed infrastructure bill, and the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act.
The vote was split cleanly between party lines, with all 220 Democrats in favor and 212 Republicans against it. During deliberations, Republican representatives argued that the House should address the crisis in Afghanistan before Sanders’ matters. In the past week, the Biden administration and lawmakers alike have come under fire for their handling of the unsuccessful military withdrawal and the takeover of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
The approval of Sanders’ proposal was dependent on nine moderate Democrats, who have the ability to shift the vote, however, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi joined moderate Representative Josh Gottheimer for an emergency meeting the night before. Following the meeting, Pelosi expressed certainty that she had the votes and the moderates on her side.
Sanders’ proposal moves the Biden administration’s infrastructure package one step closer to enactment. Since the beginning of Biden’s presidency, the package has been in development and a consistent point of contentiousness between Democrat and Republican lawmakers.