Sen. Cassidy hopes for Ida disaster relief in infrastructure package
Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., discusses infrastructure needs in Louisiana and the Northeast after deadly flooding and storm surge.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Thursday what the top Democrats framed as progress on reconciliation and infrastructure negotiations: an agreement on a "framework" on how to pay for the $3.5 trillion reconciliation spending bill.
But Schumer, D-N.Y., who joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., at her weekly press conference, provided almost no details on the alleged framework. And only minutes after the press conference ended they were met with backlash from top Democrat senators who weren't read in on the alleged agreement.
"The White House, the House and the Senate have reached an agreement on a framework that will pay for any final negotiated agreement," Schumer said in his brief comments.
Also present was Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, although she did not speak. When pressed on the details of the "framework," and whether there is any progress on the rest of Democrats' agenda, Pelosi had little to give the press in the room.
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"The House, the Senate and the White House came to an agreement on how we can go forward in a way to pay for this." Pelosi said when asked what exactly what in the framework. "We have consensus in overwhelmingly – maybe 10-to-1, 20-to-1 in our caucus as to these priorities, a higher percentage in the Senate."
She further described the "framework" as "an array of agreements that we have," while clarifying that "we're finalizing the outlay side."
Pelosi added that the "framework" was "not about price tag, this is about what's in the bill."
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., the Budget Committee chairman and one of the most important progressives in Congress, took only minutes to note that he was not included in conversations about a deal to pay for Democrats' reconciliation bill.
"I have no idea" what's in the deal, Sanders said. He said he hopes to know what is in the "framework" shortly if one indeed does exist.
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., a Democrat who's been central to these negotiations, said he didn't have even the "foggiest idea" about the framework when Schumer announced it. Politico similarly reported that key moderate Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., was not read in on any agreement.
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Asked if the agreement on how to pay for the reconciliation bill meant Democrats might have the votes to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill Monday, Pelosi left herself wiggle room.
"We take it one day at a time, I'm confident that we will pass it," she said. Pelosi also made clear she was not saying the reconciliation bill will be complete by Monday.
Fox News' Jason Donner contributed to this report.
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