“I cannot in good conscience vote to start the reconciliation process unless we also finish our work on the infrastructure bill,” she wrote.
The group’s members have said they believe they are doing what Mr. Biden wants, citing comments he made this year calling on Congress to pass the infrastructure bill as quickly as possible. That view has irked many administration officials, who say the president never endorsed moving either the infrastructure deal or the budget blueprint before the other.
Mr. Biden “has been clear that he wants both bills on his desk and that he looks forward to signing each,” Andrew Bates, a White House spokesman, said in an emailed statement. “He support’s Speaker Pelosi’s approach to the rule because it provides for consideration of the Build Back Better agenda, the historic bipartisan infrastructure bill and critical voting rights legislation.”
Administration officials who have made calls to the nine Democrats in recent days include Martin J. Walsh, the labor secretary; Jennifer M. Granholm, the energy secretary; Tom Vilsack, the agriculture secretary; Shalanda Young, the acting head of the White House Office of Management and Budget; Louisa Terrell, the director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs; and Brian Deese, the director of the National Economic Council.
The officials sought to allay the moderates’ fears that Mr. Biden would sign the larger spending bill without the infrastructure bill, according to a person familiar with the calls; they also voiced support for Ms. Pelosi’s push to pass both bills by Oct. 1. Some officials have stressed benefits of the larger bill, including proposals to reduce the cost of prescription drugs.
Ms. Pelosi and her top deputies, backed by dozens of progressive lawmakers, remain equally adamant that the infrastructure vote will happen only after the Senate approves the budget package. In a series of open letters to members over the past week, senior Democrats framed a vote in support of the budget blueprint as a chance to shape key legislation and ensure passage of party priorities.
“Ensuring a bicameral reconciliation process, with true input from the House prior to the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure legislation, is essential to advancing critical Democratic priorities on infrastructure and so much more,” wrote Representative Peter A. DeFazio of Oregon, the chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and a scathing critic of the bipartisan deal.