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Biden’s massive spending spree stalled by Democratic allies pushing back on far-left demands

Top House Democrats are scrambling to get their caucus to vote for their reconciliation spending bill and the bipartisan infrastructure bill as early as this week – but a major roadblock will be a group of moderates who earlier this week demanded to see a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score for the bill.”While there has been progress to address some of his concerns, there remain significant issues he is still working to address in the substance of the bill,” Nick Zeller, a spokesman for Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, who is one of those moderates, told Fox News Thursday. “That is in addition to the conditions he laid out earlier this week… around a CBO score, time to review, and pre-conferencing. I think you’ll agree those conditions have not been met.”Golden laid out those conditions in a Tuesday letter he co-signed with Reps. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., and Ed Case, D-Hawaii. Specifically, the members asked for 72 hours to review the final bill text before any vote, official scoring to reveal the “true cost of the legislation,” and an agreement with the Senate on the content of the bill before any vote. In a Medium post Wednesday, Golden lauded means testing for child care, among other things, as improvements in the latest version of the reconciliation bill. But he also slammed the ending of the SALT cap that was added to the bill this week, and reiterated the three demands from the Tuesday letter. 
In this April 27, 2019, file photo, Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, speaks in Bath, Maine. A spokesperson for Golden told Fox News conditions he set for his support of Democrats’ reconciliation bill have not yet been met. (AP Photo/David Sharp, File)
((AP Photo/David Sharp, File))PELOSI CAGEY ABOUT WHEN HOUSE MIGHT VOTE ON RECONCILIATION BILL: ‘I’LL LET YOU KNOW'”I believe that the House must proceed responsibly and not take up the final text of the Build Back Better Act until three conditions are met,” Golden said. He said those conditions are “official scoring from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office,” vetting with the Senate and 72-hours to review the bill. “Anything less amounts to an implicit admission that party leaders do not want members to be able to fully analyze the bill before having to take a vote,” Golden said.In on-camera comments Thursday, Gottheimer was less definitive, and noted the bill text is going through yet more changes. A spokesperson for Gottheimer added that a Joint Committee on Taxation score which was released Thursday is enough for Gottheimer and he does not necessarily need to wait for the CBO score. Case told CNN he is sticking by the position laid out in the Tuesday letter and wants a CBO score. The offices of Schrader, Case and Murphy did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Fox News for this story. Despite the apparent road blocks presented by these moderates, some top Democrats including Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., are still proceeding as if they expect a vote to come relatively soon. “I don’t know that we’re going to leave until we decide what we’re doing with these bills,” Hoyer said in response to a question from Fox News Thursday. 
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., conducts a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center on Thursday, July 1, 2021. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
(Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)”Everything’s moving forward in a very positive direction,” House Democratic Caucus Chair Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., said. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., dodged questions in her Thursday press conference about the timing of the bills. “I’ll let you know as soon as I wish to,” Pelosi, D-Calif., told a reporter who asked when votes on President Biden’s two major agenda items may happen.Later Thursday, Pelosi said Democrats are still proceeding with their bills but failed to lay out a timeline. SPANBERGER, MANCHIN HIT BIDEN, PROGRESSIVES FOR MASSIVE RECONCILIATION DEMANDS: ‘NOBODY ELECTED HIM TO BE FDR’If Golden and his fellow moderates stick to their conditions, it could take some time for a reconciliation bill to pass. According to the CBO, its scores take two weeks on average to be released – and the most recent version of the reconciliation bill was published Wednesday. The CBO says that some of its estimates may take more or less time than that. Pelosi also noted Thursday that much of the bill is familiar to the CBO, because they’ve been working on the bill for months. “We have been all along… we’ve been sending things to CBO. This is not new to them,” Pelosi said. “The CBO also has been… They have most of the information now they have new information.”But the reconciliation bill is massive compared to most legislation Congress passes, exceeding 2,000 pages.The 72-hour threshold the moderates asked for in their Tuesday letter would be met Saturday afternoon if there are no more changes to the bill’s text (changes are indeed expected). But pre-conferencing the bill with the Senate could present the most problems for Democrats in their effort to pass their massive spending plan. 
Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., arrives for a meeting of the House Democratic Caucus on Friday, October 1, 2021. Gottheimer is among the House moderates who could be block a vote on Democrats’ reconciliation bill. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., essentially control what the Senate will agree to as the two most moderate members and the chamber’s most notable swing votes. And Manchin said on Fox News’ “Special Report” Wednesday some of the areas he disagrees with the House bill are the nicotine tax, paid leave, and more. “They’re working off the House bill. That’s not going to be the bill I work off of,” Manchin said. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPAny pre-conferenced bill would also have to be cleared with the Senate parliamentarian to ensure its provisions conform with the Senate’s Byrd Rule. And the parliamentarian won’t look at the bill until it gets a CBO score, under the chamber’s rules for reconciliation bills. And without an agreement to pass the reconciliation bill, the House definitively won’t be passing the bipartisan infrastructure bill, according to Pelosi. “No,” she said flatly when asked about the possibility of passing just infrastructure this week. Republicans, meanwhile, have been happy to sit back and watch Democrats struggle with a reconciliation bill that no House or Senate Republicans are expected to vote for. “This process has been a disaster for the Democrats,” Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-S.D., a whip for the moderate Problem Solvers Caucus, told Fox News. “The goalpost keeps moving and no one knows what’s in this bill – it changes nearly every day. That’s not a good way to legislate, especially when we are facing out of control inflation rates. Americans made it clear this week they aren’t happy with left-wing policies Democrats are pushing in Washington.”Fox News’ Kelly Phares, Caroline McKee and Jason Donner contributed to this report. 

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