Former Rep. Barney frank, D-Mass., told Newsmax Tuesday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and President Joe Biden working together have “a great skill set” in moving legislation, like the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill and $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill passed.
“You have a great skill set with Nancy Pelosi and President Biden working together, but I think the main thing driving this are members of Congress thinking about reelection, and that, on the whole, this is a popular thing to do,” Frank said on “Spicer & Co.” Tuesday.
Pelosi and House Democrats passed a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation resolution Tuesday along party lines 220-212 without any Republicans voting for it.
Pelosi was able to push the large resolution through by promising moderate Democrats in the caucus that a smaller bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill would be put on the floor for a vote by Sept. 27.
"Passing an infrastructure bill is always exciting for what it means in terms of jobs and commerce in our country," Pelosi said in a statement Tuesday afternoon announcing her commitment to the Sept. 27 deadline. "We must keep the 51-vote privilege by passing the budget and work with House and Senate Democrats to reach agreement in order for the House to vote on a Build Back Better Act that will pass the Senate."
Currently, 10-11 Senate Republicans agree to support the smaller bill which deals with “hard” infrastructure like roads, bridges, rails, airports, and seaports, while the bigger resolution deals with Democrats’ “soft” infrastructure including the expansion of social programs and climate change mitigation, most of which Republicans oppose.
Frank said that the timing is right for the legislation, and he thinks both pieces will pass “substantially” because the COVID-19 pandemic gave people a reason to have more trust in the government being able to help.
“This set of policies is popular with the American people,” he said. “For a long time, people have been very suspicious of (the government), and I think we've seen a great change in that with regard to COVID.”
Frank said that Pelosi, despite her critics, has been a very successful speaker of the House, especially when compared to her Republican predecessors.
“As far as challenges from the (Democratic) party, I think, compare her to the ruins of the career of (Republicans) John Boehner, and Paul Ryan,” he said. “In fact, she's the first successful speaker who hasn't been forced out since Tip O’Neil. “You had (Republicans) Newt Gingrich and Dennis Hastert, so the list of Republican speaker disasters is very great.”
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