There is considerable pressure to vote on something next week before heading home to campaign. Reps. Derek Kilmer of Washington and Stephanie Murphy of Florida, two leading moderate Democrats, said the chamber should vote on a bill even if there’s no bipartisan deal.
Other moderates, including freshmen in tough reelection fights, are demanding not just a new bill to present in negotiations or a messaging vote on the floor.
“[I]t is essential that we send the Senate a compromise bill before the election that is reasonable and that can be signed into law by the President of the United States,” Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, Abigail Spanberger of Virginia and Dean Phillips of Minnesota wrote in a letter to Democratic leaders they were circulating for signatures.
Gottheimer was elected in 2016 in a district that President Donald Trump narrowly carried. Spanberger and Phillips each flipped GOP seats in the 2018 midterms. Of the three, Spanberger is considered the most vulnerable; Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales ranks her race “Tilt Democratic.”
White House officials have said they can go as high as $1.5 trillion, which is the number included in a bipartisan plan offered by Gottheimer and others in the Problem Solvers Caucus last week. Caucus members have been discussing their plan with White House officials in recent days, even after it was dismissed by Pelosi and top committee leaders.