A controversial $3.5 trillion reconciliation plan does not have the votes to pass in the House of Representatives thanks in part to members of the Problem Solvers Caucus, according to Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick.
The Republican representing Pennsylvania’s First Congressional District announced the likely outcome during an appearance on Speak Your Piece with Pat Wandling on WBCB late last week.
“It has very little, if anything, to do with infrastructure,” said Fitzpatrick of the plan. “It’s a social spending program with tax increases. And it’s a one party solution. I don’t support one party solutions. Our Problem Solvers Caucus is against one party solutions.”
Fitzpatrick now serves as Co-Chair on the the Problem Solvers Caucus with fellow Co-Chair Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-NY).
“That’s why you’ll see many Democrat members of my Problem Solvers Caucus vote against reconciliation, which is why I can almost give you with certainty here, that the $3.5 trillion will not pass.”
NPR describes the large spending plan as making “sizable federal investments in child care, immigration and climate change programs.” Unlike a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package, the reconciliation plan has no support from Republicans.
Fitzpatrick predicted after the 2020 General elections that the PSC would play a larger role in the 117th Congress thanks to smaller margins.
“And any time the margins shrink, the role of the centrists, moderates, and Problem Solvers will expand,” Fitzpatrick told WBCB last December.
The self-described “independent member-driven group” has 56 members split evenly between Republicans and Democrats. As the 117th Congress has just eight more blue seats than red, a lack of support from the PSC can kill a bill.
However, Fitzpatrick clarified a different, potentially smaller package could receive more support.
“But if it’s a single party solution, which is the way that things have been going now, it’s not going to be attracting any support from the minority at this point. That remains to be seen, but the $3.5 trillion wishlist does not have the votes. Not just in the House, it doesn’t have the votes in the Senate as well.”
Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) told CNN last week he would not vote for the $3.5 trillion reconciliation plan due to its size. Democrats would likely need his vote with such slim margins in the Senate as well.