The House of Representatives on Tuesday voted on a resolution that will allow Congress to move forward on a $3.5 trillion budget crucial to President Joe Biden's domestic agenda, as well allow for a vote on the nearly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill by Sept. 27.

The passage of the rule came after a tense standoff between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a key group of moderates.

What You Need To Know

  • The House of Representatives on Tuesday voted on a rule that will allow Congress to move forward on Democrats' $3.5 trillion budget and the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill

  • The 220-212 vote came after a standoff between House Democratic leadership and a group of moderate Democrats who urged the chamber vote on the $1 trillion bipartisan infrasturcture bill before considering the larger $3.5 trillion budget measure

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi committed in a statement "to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill by September 27"

  • The bipartisan infrastructure bill passed the Senate earlier this month with a 69-30 vote, with 19 Republicans joining every Senate Democrat in favor

The bill passed the house on a party line vote, 220-212.

"Thanks to you, yesterday was an historic day in the Congress of United States," Pelosi wrote in a letter to colleagues on Wednesday. "Because of the unity, strength and spirit of our Democratic Caucus, we have lifted up the Biden agenda and are delivering on our promises For The People: lower health care costs, bigger paychecks and cleaner government."

The vote came after after a turbulent 24 hours that brought the House to a standstill as the group of moderate lawmakers threatened to withhold their votes for the $3.5 trillion plan unless the chamber votes on the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill first.

"With respect to timing: the rule provided the clarification desired by some in the Caucus as to passage of both the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the Build Back Better Act.," Pelosi wrote Wednesday. "As I said in my statement, we are committed to passing the bipartisan infrastructure bill by September 27. We have long had an eye to having the infrastructure bill on the President’s desk by the October 1, the effective date of the legislation."

Pelosi said that lawmakers and committee chairs can now continue crafting the $3.5 trillion budget measure, which contains key Democratic priorities like child care, paid family leave and a Medicare expansion, now known as the "Build Back Better Act," named for the president's agenda.

"As we proceed, we want to deliver on the promises of delivering child care and universal pre-K, paid leave, home-based care, cutting taxes for families by expanding the Biden Child Tax Credit, continuing the ACA subsidies to lower the cost of health care, reducing the price of prescription drugs, and improving Medicare to cover vision, dental and hearing for our seniors," Pelosi said of the bill. "We want to do so in a way that is paid for, including by ensuring the wealthiest few and big corporations do their fair share."

"The coming weeks will be intense, but – with gratitude to Committee Chairs, Members and staff – we will achieve our goals, working with the Senate to ensure passage of our historic legislation," the Speaker concluded.

"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 of the bipartisan measure.

Also in her statement Tuesday, the Speaker thanked the moderate members of her caucus "for their enthusiastic support for the infrastructure bill and know that they also share in the Build Back Better vision of President Biden."

New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer, the leader of the moderate group, called it a "big win" for the country in a statement after the vote.

"We have established a path forward that ensures we can pass this once-in-a-century infrastructure investment by September 27th, on its own merits, allowing us to create millions of jobs and bring our nation into the 21st century," he wrote.

The $3.5 trillion budget resolution will set the stage this fall for further legislation to fill in that blueprint, and committees are already fast at work drafting how that money would be spent on the social safety net, environment and other programs over the next decade.

The budget measure is at the heart of Biden’s “Build Back Better” vision for helping families and combating climate change and is progressives’ top priority, all of it largely financed with tax increases on the rich and big busines.

Progressives signaled early on they wanted to pass the $3.5 trillion budget priorities first before they agree to the smaller package, worried it would be an insufficient down-payment on his goals.

But the moderates wanted the opposite, insisting Congress quickly send the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure measure to Biden so he can sign it before the political winds shift.

“Some have suggested that we hold off on voting for the infrastructure package,” Rep. Gottheimer wrote in an op-ed for published Monday. “But, if we do that, there is a real risk that it may never become law. The House can’t afford to wait months or do anything that will jeopardize passing this infrastructure bill or losing the bipartisan support behind it.”

The bipartisan infrastructure bill passed the Senate earlier this month with a 69-30 vote, with 19 Republicans joining every Senate Democrat in favor. That bill would fund 'hard infrastructure' projects, including funding to repair roads and bridges, expand broadband access, replace lead pipes and other initiatives. 

Passing the bill and sending it to President Biden for his signature would nail down a victory lawmakers could point to in their reelection campaigns next year.

“As they say in Washington, time kills bills. We have this opportunity within our grasp — let’s not blow it," Gottheimer added.

Despite hours of negotiations at the Capitol, the House chamber came to a standstill and plans were thrown into flux late Monday, as leaders and lawmakers huddled privately to broker an agreement. Shortly after midnight, leaders announced no further votes would be taken until Tuesday’s session.

In the narrowly divided House, every vote matters and a few dissenters could conceivably end the Democratic majority’s hopes for passing any proposal. Pelosi could only afford to lose three votes in the face of unanimous Republican opposition.

But with early votes Tuesday from Gottheimer, as well as fellow moderate Reps. Jared Golden, D-Maine, and Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux, D-Georgia, the measure cruised to passage along party lines, 

Speaker Pelosi implored Democrats during a private caucus Monday not to bog down and miss this chance to deliver on the promises Biden and the party have made to Americans.

“Right now, we have an opportunity to pass something so substantial for our country, so transformative we haven’t seen anything like it,” the California Democrat said, a person familiar with the comments told The Associated Press.

Republicans appear to be fully opposed to the president’s big plans, underscoring the need from Democratic leadership to keep the caucus united in order to pass this legislation crucial to Biden's agenda. 

Inserting his own wedge into the politics of the situation, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in an interview with Fox News Tuesday that he was rooting for the House moderates.

“I wish the moderates in the House success,” the Kentucky Republican said.

The GOP leader had supported the nearly $1 trillion bill that passed the Senate earlier this month, but is planning to lead Senate Republicans lockstep against Biden’s infrastructure agenda.

Republicans said the $3.5 trillion effort that Democrats are seeking to advance fails to address “the crisis that American families are facing” and would lead to higher inflation and deficits.

The conservative House Freedom Caucus said it opposes both the Biden budget and the bipartisan infrastructure bill.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.