House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded with impatience Wednesday to a reporter who asked about the chances of a debt limit extension passing in the Senate.
It’s been a drama-filled week at Capitol Hill, where Republicans and Democrats were frequently at impasses over measures to suspend the debt limit and avert a government shutdown, as well as a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill which passed the Senate with 19 Republican votes — but which House Republican leaders were opposing because Democrats attempted to tie the legislation to a larger, $3.5 trillion bill that conservatives say is effectively a wishlist of items on the progressive agenda.
That final bill, which allocates $3.5 trillion for social and environmental programs, was unlikely to garner any Republican support. However, Senate Democrats were attempting to pass it using the budget reconciliation process with only a simple majority of 50 senators — plus Vice President Kamala Harris as the tie-breaking vote.
But Democratic leaders have faced opposition from two of their own — Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, who voiced concerns over the legislation’s price-tag, according to The Associated Press.
Controversies over the four measures became somewhat intertwined, as lawmakers looked to ensure that the legislation they wanted passed was prioritized.
On Wednesday at Capitol Hill, a reporter asked Pelosi about the possibility of “delaying the [House] vote tomorrow” on the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill.
“When I say we’ll have the vote tomorrow, we’ll have the vote,” Pelosi said, adding to the reporter, “I’m not calling you a troublemaker, but instigator over here. Working for the will of the American people has clearly stated what the prerogatives are of the speaker of the House.”
Here’s Pelosi on this to me: "I'm not calling you a troublemaker, but instigator over here, working for the will of the American people, has clearly stated what the prerogatives are of the speaker of the house." https://t.co/LNmj82bmYf
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) September 29, 2021
That wasn’t the only time Pelosi got testy with a member of the press on Wednesday.
“It looks like the debt limit extension might not advance in the Senate,” a reporter told the House speaker. “Why get mad at members, why twist the arms of moderates if this is not going to move anywhere?”
Pelosi snaps at a reporter questioning her strategy on the debt ceiling: “What are you talking about?!” pic.twitter.com/1vsgvDkGjS
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 29, 2021
“What are you talking about?” Pelosi replied.
“We have a responsibility to uphold, to lift up the full faith and credit of the United States of America,” she eventually added. “That’s what we have to do. These members have all voted for this last week. So if they’re concerned about how it might be in an ad, it’s already in an ad. It’s already in an ad.
“So let us give every confidence, every step of the way that we will do that. We cannot predicate our actions in the House on what could happen in the Senate. We can when we’re coming to agreement on a bill. But in terms of this, I have no patience for people not voting for everyone,” the House speaker said.