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House Democrats aim to pass the infrastructure bill, the government funding bill, and President Joe Biden's $3.5 trillion spending package all in one week, according to remarks made by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a letter to her Democratic colleagues during a "time of intensity."
While remaining silent on the debt ceiling in the letter, Pelosi dubbed September 30, the day the government is set to run out of funding, as "a date fraught with meaning.
"This week, we must pass a Continuing Resolution, Build Back Better Act and the BIF," Pelosi wrote in the letter. "On Thursday, the Build Back Better Act was sent to the Budget Committee for mark-up. As I write to you, the Budget Committee is marking up the bill."
Pelosi went on to claim that the "next few days will be a time of intensity," adding that a continuing resolution was sent from the House to the Senate. Now Pelosi, along with other members of the House, are "awaiting their action to avoid a shutdown."
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"We must pass the BIF to avoid the expiration of the surface transportation funding on September 30," Pelosi added. "And we must stay on schedule to pass the reconciliation bill so that we can Build Back Better."
Pelosi also said in the letter that the Democratic Caucus would "hold a meeting on Monday at 5:30 p.m. E.T. as she urged the "fullest participation of Members."
Amid Pelosi's selected course of action, Congressional Republicans, many of which are disgruntled with the time allotted to review certain measures regarding the spending bill before holding a vote, spoke out during the House Budget Committee’s virtual markup of the Build Back Better Act.
"We are here today to mark up a massive tax and spending plan, over 2,400 pages, that was written entirely on a partisan basis by Democrats," said Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo. "It was thrown before this committee, in the past 48 hours, to meet an arbitrary, artificial, and purely political deadline – dictated by Democrat leadership. And why? Because the majority needs to reconcile infighting within its own party."
"We are not here marking up a budget or reconciliation bill to address the debt limit," Smith continued, adding that "Democrats spent months ignoring our debt limit while they sat in back rooms drafting this 2,400-page tax and spending plan."
"Democrats control the House, the Senate, and the White House. They have the tools they need to pass a bill to address our debt limit. But so far, they’ve refused," Smith added, slamming the reconciliation bill, which he said "includes amnesty for ten million illegal immigrants, only makes these crises worse, along with a host of new job-killing taxes and radical policies."
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Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., also spoke out about the intense rush to pass legislation and instead echoed Pelosi's remarks to colleagues, saying "the time to act is now."
"We are at an inflection point for our nation," Yarmuth said. "The futures of millions of Americans and their families are at stake. They can no longer afford the costs of neglect and inaction – the time to act is now."
In discussing the measures, including the Build Back Better Act and the reconciliation package, Yarmuth claimed they are "long-overdue investments" that "will ensure our economy works for all Americans, and will deliver the largest tax cut for the middle class in history."
"Our nation, our economy, and our constituents cannot afford to wait any longer for these investments," Yarmuth said. "The time is now to Build Back Better."
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