Rep. Greg Steube: Failure to pass $2.3T infrastructure bill shows Pelosi's waning power over Dems

Moderate Democrats are worried about being pulled too far to the left, while progressives are simultaneously realizing the amount of leverage they have.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is losing her power over congressional Democrats, Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.) said Thursday, citing her failure to pass the $2.3 trillion infrastructure bill because some members in moderate districts are concerned about reelection next year, while progressives on the other end are realizing how much power they have.

"If they would have had the votes" to pass the infrastructure bill, "I think Speaker Pelosi would have brought the bill up," Steube told the John Solomon Reports podcast. "Thankfully, it doesn't seem that they have the votes for a $2.3 trillion infrastructure bill, of which only 6% actually goes to infrastructure, raising our taxes to the highest level in the world of any developed nation, including higher than the Chinese Communist Party."

"You know that if Pelosi would have had the votes for those bills," Steube continued, "we would have voted on them weeks ago, when the mainstream press was trying to pass these.

"So finally, you're starting to see some of these Democrats, who are in moderate districts, who are going to be up for reelection in a year, starting to look at, 'Hey, I can vote for a COVID bill for $1.9 trillion that bails out cities and counties and all these other things that Republicans completely don't support.' But tax increases, $2.3 trillion to go to the Green New Deal, all of these things are starting to see her ability to push her members wane. She can only lose three or four votes on the floor, depending on how many people are voting."

Steube criticized his party for failing to block the $1.9 billion Capitol security bill that recently passed when two Republicans didn't vote. "Shame on us for not ... ensuring that our members are voting, and if they're not here — if they're not in Washington — making the vote," he said. "Because if the two Republicans who didn't vote would have voted the way all the rest of the Republicans did, that bill would have died."

Steube contrasted the unity of Republicans on large spending bills to the disunity of Democrats and their progressive wing.

"On all of these votes, Republicans have really stuck together on all of these packages," he noted. "And you're starting to see, and this was the vote last week, before we left, that had both of these Republicans voted, it would have died ...

"And I was on the floor," Steube continued, "and we voted on, I don't know, it was like a suspension bill — nothing really controversial — and then we waited for an hour for them to call the next vote because the squad said, 'Hey, you know what, we're not voting for this.' And because that's like five or six votes for them, it shut down the entire proceedings for the Democrats, and so now they're running around trying to figure out how to salvage this bill because there's nothing more embarrassing than to bring a bill up to the floor and for it to die because of your own members.

"So you're gonna start to see the progressives and the AOCs and the Tlaibs and the squad start leveraging their power, because now they know they can go and say, 'Hey, I got five or six votes, and we're not going to vote for this until you put in this crazy Green New Deal, defund the police,' whatever the progressive agenda is for that bill, and it's gonna start to unwind their ability to get bills passed on the floor."

Steube also mentioned how people are leaving other states with more restrictive COVID lockdowns for red states that are open so they can send their children to school.

"I see it every day when I'm back in the district and I'm not in Washington — the people that are flooding to the state of Florida, because of the policies that a Republican legislature and a Republican governor have put in place," he said. "I know people that have moved here from states like Virginia or Michigan where their kids haven't been able to go to school for over a year, just so their children can go to school."