Democrats in the House cannot seem to agree on the spending caps to be included in their budget bill and will therefore postpone the vote on it, CNN reported Tuesday.
It adds that progressive lawmakers insist on higher spending levels than those already proposed by their colleagues, causing the first major policy disagreement within the party since taking control of the chamber.
The initial vote on the legislation was set for Wednesday, but House Budget Chairman John Yarmuth said it would not be held due to what he called “growing pains.”
“I don’t think we’d have the votes if we went to the floor right now. It’s not going to come up this week,” he said. “With no Republican votes, we can only lose 17 votes on anything.”
The postponement was further confirmed by the chamber’s majority leader, Steny Hoyer.
Meanwhile, Representative Mark Pocan, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said they were not “really heard in a way that we felt we needed to be” on the issue.
The rift within he Democratic party, however, would be an unwelcome beginning to a long fight with the GOP-controlled Senate and the White House on the budget. It could also indicate a lack of unity among the party’s members before their negotiations with Republicans.
The sentiment was echoed by Yarmuth, who said that disagreements among party-lines also minimized Democrats’ leverage in negotiations with the Senate and the White House.
On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had agreed to start talks at the staff level for a two-year deal to raise the spending caps.
“So I am hoping this will be the beginning of a bipartisan agreement, which would be necessary to have an orderly appropriations process not only this year but next year as well,” McConnell noted.