Home>Congress>Gottheimer blames Pelosi, ‘far left’ faction of House Democrats, for reneging on infrastructure deal

Rep. Josh Gottheimer. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe)

Gottheimer blames Pelosi, ‘far left’ faction of House Democrats, for reneging on infrastructure deal

Biden pulls back bill after House Speaker couldn’t hold Democrats to August deal

By David Wildstein, October 01 2021 11:59 pm

Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) slammed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday night after she sided with the Democratic party’s progressive wing and postponed a vote on a bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill that included funding for the Gateway Tunnel project.

“It’s deeply regrettable that Speaker Pelosi breached her firm, public commitment to Members of Congress and the American people to hold a vote and to pass the once-in-a-century bipartisan infrastructure bill on or before September 27,” Gottheimer said.

Five weeks ago, Pelosi released a written pledge in support of compromise to pass a more traditional roads and bridges bill first.  Gottheimer, the chairman of the House Problem Solvers Caucus, had played a key role in negotiating that compromise — something ratified with a vote by House Democrats. 

“I am committing to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill by September 27,” Pelosi had said. “I do so with a commitment to rally House Democratic support for its passage.”

The move by Pelosi came after President Joe Biden pulled the plan back, agreeing to pass a broader climate change and social policy bill first. 

“Along with a group of Members, I’ve been working around-the-clock to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill, legislation we helped craft back in April with my Senate colleagues,” Gottheimer said.  “But a small far left faction of the House of Representatives undermined that agreement and blocked a critical vote on the President’s historic bipartisan infrastructure bill.”

According to Gottheimer, the plan would have made “generational investments in roads, bridges, tunnels, and public transit, finally build the Gateway Tunnel, expand broadband access, protect communities from lead water, improve climate resiliency, build electric vehicle infrastructure, and help create two million jobs every year for a decade.”

“We cannot let this small faction on the far left — who employ Freedom Caucus tactics, as described by the New York Times today — destroy the President’s agenda and stop the creation of two million jobs a year — including for the millions of hard-working men and women of labor,” said Gottheimer, a three-term Democrat from Bergen County.  “We were elected to achieve reasonable, commonsense solutions for the American people — not to obstruct from the far wings.”

Gottheimer also pounced on House Democrats who blew up the deal.

“This far left faction is willing to put the President’s entire agenda, including this historic bipartisan infrastructure package, at risk,” he said.  They’ve put civility and bipartisan governing at risk.”

Biden did not put a timeline on the adjustment to his key legislative proposal, but is seeking moderate Democratic votes in the Senate by lowering the price tag from $3.5 trillion to $2.3 trillion.

“I will not stop fighting for the people I represent, and I will not stop fighting to get the historic, bipartisan infrastructure bill across the finish line — to support the communities, families, and workers of New Jersey,” Gottheimer stated.

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