Democratic Rep. Scott Peters Scott H. PetersWHIP LIST: How House Democrats Say They Will Vote On Infrastructure Bill Drug Companies Are About To Sink For A Long Time Democratic Priority Failed Vote On Drugs Points To Greater Challenges For Democrats MORE (Calif.) voted with Republicans oppose advancing his party’s $3.5 trillion social spending plan, as the House leadership plans to vote on the package as early as next week.
House Budget Committee member Peters voted with 16 Republicans Saturday afternoon against bringing the panel’s move forward.
However, the legislation could be promoted by 20 votes by the Democrat-led committee.
Peters said he was “concerned” about the party’s pace to draft legislation, which he said is unlikely to pass in the Senate as the current text is “without major changes”.
He further expressed concern about some of the spending levels in the measure, saying he has “some other objections to the bill that have not been resolved, but could be if given more time.”
The legislation was approved by 13 committees earlier this month. Democrats hope to pass the bill using a procedural move known as appeasement that will allow them to bypass a Republican filibuster in the Senate.
However, unlike previous highlights of the legislation held in various committees earlier this month, the panel heard no amendments. In comments ahead of Saturday’s budget committee meeting, Yarmuth said the drafting process in the panel will be more “procedural” in nature than previous records held by committees that drafted the legislation.
The package now goes to the House Committee on Rules, and the leadership is expected to make further changes to the measure before it is put to a full vote in the House of Representatives.
In his comments at Saturday’s virtual markup, Peters said that while the committee will not make “substantial changes to the bill” during the process, he still believes the issues he has raised “need to be addressed before we move this bill.” of the House of Representatives.”
“I am optimistic that the bill will improve in the future and resolve some of my underlying concerns, but I think more work needs to be done on it,” he said.
Peters is one of three moderate House Democrats who went against party lines weeks ago, voting against including a measure in the appeasement package that would lower drug prices. He feared it would hurt innovation in the pharmaceutical industry.
His vote on Saturday highlights some of the hurdles the leadership faces as it struggles to unite various factions of the party during negotiations and ahead of a vote on a bipartisan infrastructure package slated to take place in the House early next week.