Over the past several weeks, the House Problem Solvers Caucus has helped shape the $1.2T infrastructure bill pitched by the Senate into reality. However, the GOP is currently whipping up pressure on the bipartisan caucus’s Republicans to vote against the bill, particularly as Democrats ramp up their efforts to push a $3.5T budget reconciliation bill simultaneously through the House.
Kevin McCarthy (D-CA), the House Minority Leader, is presently waging a “strong” campaign to block a major victory for the Democrat-majority Congress well before the midterm elections of 2022, according to a Republican statement to Politico.
At the same time, several Republican representatives are likely to support infrastructure despite the GOP’s opposition.
Per Representative Tom Reed (R-NY), “from a caucus perspective, we’re going to be there.” Reed adds that “not everybody” will be present for the vote, though “a sizable showing” will be present, which is “a good thing.”
“Substantively, it’s a pretty solid bill,” Reed added.
Currently, ten Republican Representatives, all of whom are members of the House Problem Solvers Caucus, are poised to vote in favor of the infrastructure bill, as reported by various sources to Politico.
As observed by Representative Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), the bipartisan bill is “essentially a Problem Solvers product.” Should any of the ten Republicans turn their back upon the bill and vote against it, then the “argument in favor of bipartisanship” would be eliminated.
Representative John Katko (R-NY) also added that McCarthy helped him write the bill, though McCarthy has since come out against the $1.2T spending package due to the Democrats’ plans to partner the $1.2T spending package with a $3.5T spending package.
The proposed companionship places several representatives in a bind, including Katko, as well as Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), who is a Problem Solver Caucus co-chair.
Fitzpatrick has since met with the caucus’s fellow char this week, Representative Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), in an effort to whip votes from 29 Republican members of the caucus, which has endured several struggles in remaining together, especially after the efforts of the House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), started taking several divisive actions regarding the January 6 Select Committee.
“Many people’s [decisions depend] on how the process plays out,” Fitzpatrick informed Politico, adding that many are in favor of supporting the $1.2T infrastructure bill, though “they want nothing to do with the [$3.5T bill].”
According to Representative Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) and Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ), the bill is similar to “every other bill,” in that the bill has “good things” and “not so good things,” which warrants the need to balance the bill with individual district needs to determine “what would be the best vote.”