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Democrats Divided Over Biden’s Infrastructure Plan

El Partido Demócrata se divide ante la aprobación del costoso plan de gasto de Biden

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The struggle between the centrist and radical sectors of the Democratic Party on Thursday forced House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to postpone the approval of the $1 trillion infrastructure plan promoted by Joe Biden’s administration.

The plan, which passed the Senate weeks ago with bipartisan support, is one of the pillars of Biden’s economic agenda and consists of rebuilding roads and bridges.

The other part, which only has majority Democratic support and has not yet passed either chamber, seeks to expand debt and spending to stratospheric levels.

The White House and the left wing want the cost of the plan to be $3.5 trillion, although it will probably end up being less.

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To try to negotiate with the centrist sector, more interested in the infrastructure plan, Pelosi scheduled for Thursday its approval in the Lower House.

But the leftist and radical sector, fearing that the $3.5 trillion plan would be pushed into a corner, warned that if both were not pushed through at the same time, they would oppose the first.

Bernie Sanders and the 97 congressmen of the so-called “progressive caucus” stood firm and forced Pelosi to suspend shortly before midnight and after hours of negotiations Thursday’s vote so that Biden’s plan would not be defeated in a lower house with a Democratic majority.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement that the agreement “is closer than ever”: “A great deal of progress has been made this week (…) but we are not there yet, so we will need some additional time to finish the job.”

Biden suspended part of his schedule this week and devoted almost all of his time to unsuccessfully pushing for a deal among Democrats.

One of the two Democratic senators who oppose the $3.5 trillion plan and whose vote is needed for passage, Joe Manchin, told reporters tonight that he and his colleagues are negotiating “in good faith” and will continue to do so. He has said in the interests of fiscal responsibility he would only support a $1.5 trillion plan at a maximum.