Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester on social spending bill: "our focus is on the priorities"
Democrats in the U.S. House are focused on ensuring their progressive social program funding makes it into the reconciliation bill addressing infrastructure.
Delaware's lone Congresswoman is among them.
Progressive House democrat Pramila Jayapal staunchly opposed Sen. Joe Manchin’s $1.5 trillion proposal for the social spending plan, saying it isn’t enough to get their priorities in place.
Delaware Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester is part of both the pro-business caucus and the progressive caucus. But she says those progressive priorities are the most important.
“For us, our focus is on the priorities — not the number, but on the priorities,” she said. “And there will be different ways to get there. So we are now in the midst of having those discussions; and again our goal is to build back better.”
Blunt Rochester says some of those priorities include funding for climate change resiliency, education, childcare and broadband infrastructure.
If those make it into the bill, she feels it doesn’t matter that the bill is less than the initially proposed $3.5 trillion.
“We gotta have the priorities because that’s what really, people need right now to be able to build back better is a comprehensive approach that the president put forward in the build back better act — and that’s what we’re working towards,” Blunt Rochester said.
House Democrats are trying to find a way to negotiate up from Sen. Joe Manchin’s proposed $1.5 trillion bill, in order to fit all those priorities in.
Until that’s agreed on, the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed by the Senate in August remains stalled in the House.
Roman Battaglia is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.