Uh oh: No infrastructure vote today either?

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Pelosi and her team are so desperate to keep their promise to House moderates about holding a vote on Thursday that they declined to adjourn last night. Which means that today, legislatively, is still … yesterday. Centrist Dem leaders are participating in the charade too, to the embarrassment of everyone:

Progressives couldn’t resist dunking on them for it:

Through the magic of shameless gaslighting (the same magic by which a bill that costs $3.5 trillion actually costs nothing), Pelosi will have kinda sorta fulfilled her pledge to hold on September 30 if she holds it later this afternoon. And she sounded determined as she left the Capitol last night, telling reporters that “there will be a vote today.”

But is that still true? An ominous note from Dem Rep. Jan Schakowsky:

The fact that Kyrsten Sinema is a few thousand miles away also doesn’t bode well for Dems:

On the other hand:

It’s possible that Pelosi will put the bill on the floor for a gut-check vote, not knowing whether it’ll pass or not as negotiations between progressives, centrists, and the White House continue behind the scenes. If the bill hits the floor today and progressives tank it, it may amount to nothing more than a harmless bit of muscle-flexing while the two sides haggle over the final price of the reconciliation bill. (Of course, it could also lead to Sinema walk away from negotiations because her demand that the House pass the bipartisan bill first wasn’t met.) If, on the other hand, the bill hits the floor and it passes because there are enough Republicans voting in favor to replace the progressives who are voting against, then .. I don’t know what happens.

Would Pelosi even want the bill to pass in those circumstances? The lefties who vote no on it will be furious with her for wrecking their leverage. And having the bill pass before a reconciliation deal has been struck could upend negotiations, as Manchin and Sinema would no longer have anything to gain by continuing with the reconciliation process.

Some subset of progressives continues to insist that they want to see the Senate vote first on an actual reconciliation bill, not just have Pelosi and Manchin agree to a “framework” or a “deal” or what have you.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.): “We need a vote. We need to be real… I know we’re all committed to the same goal.”

Progressive caucus chair Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.): “I have consistently said that we need a vote in the Senate because I want to make sure that there are no delays, that there are no mix ups, that there are no mixed understandings about what the deal is… It’s both content and process.”

That’s not going to happen. So Pelosi really will need to replace those progressive votes with Republicans. How many are out there?

The big sticking point in negotiations on reconciliation is the topline number, reportedly. Lefties wanted $3.5 trillion; Manchin wants something closer to $1.5 trillion. When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was asked about his number yesterday, she sneered, “Uhh, for one year?” (The topline number accounts for 10 years of spending.) Is there anyone in Washington who can bring the two sides closer together?

Maybe one guy. He’s going to give it a shot today.

Two questions now. One: How many progressives will accept a “framework” on reconciliation in lieu of the Senate actually voting on a bill? Two: Of that number, how many are comfortable enough with $2.1 trillion to reward Biden by voting for the bipartisan infrastructure bill today if Manchin and Sinema agree to it?

Lotta intrigue! But the most intriguing infrastructure-related news tidbit to emerge has to be this:

Chuck Schumer knew for two months that Manchin was at $1.5 trillion on reconciliation and he never once told Pelosi? Was Schumer working on Manchin behind the scenes, keeping his topline number a secret in hopes that he could move him upward off of it so long as it wasn’t public knowledge? If Pelosi had known sooner, she could have begun the process of getting progressives to come to terms with a smaller bill weeks or months ago. Instead Schumer, her Senate partner, apparently blindsided her.

These idiots waited until the week of the House vote to start negotiating on reconciliation with hard numbers when those numbers had been privately available since the middle of summer. Good lord.

We’ll see if Biden can swing a miracle when he meets with House Dems this afternoon. I’ll leave you with this in the meantime.