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Sen. Cory Booker pledges 'to push for as big and bold as we can' with Democratic-led infrastructure bill

Business Insider logo Business Insider 9/26/2021 (John L. Dorman)
Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey. AP Photo/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades © AP Photo/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey. AP Photo/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades
  • Sen. Cory Booker said that he would continue pushing for "big and bold" measures in the Democratic-led reconciliation bill.
  • Democrats envisioned a $3.5 trillion bill, but angst among moderates will likely result in a smaller figure.
  • Booker said that the investments included in the final bill will be "historic."
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Sen. Cory Booker on Sunday pledged to continue pushing for "big and bold" measures in the reconciliation bill that Democrats sense will likely be less than the proposed $3.5 trillion framework that was initially envisioned by party leaders.

During an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press," the New Jersey Democrat remained optimistic about the bill that will eventually come together, emphasizing that it will be "historic."

"If we do a $3 trillion bill, a $2.5 trillion bill, I'm going to push for as big and bold as we can," he said. "But it will be a historic investment in America."

In the evenly-divided Senate, Democrats need every member to be on board for the reconciliation package to pass, and moderate Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia - along with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona - wield incredible influence over the bill, which is slated to include tax increases on the wealthy and tuition-free community college, among many other items.

Host Chuck Todd asked Booker about a letter he recently signed calling for the larger infrastructure package to be finished before the House took up the separate $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package, asking if there was a trust issue with some of the moderate Democrats.

"I don't think it's a matter of trust," he said. "I think it's a matter of I've been around here, this town, now for eight years, watching the best of intentions not manifest into something real. I just want to make sure this is not about a bunch of people who are battling it out in Congress. This is about the American people."

He added: "To get half of this done and leave mothers who are looking for affordable childcare, Americans who are looking for lower cost prescription drugs, to leave people like that on the wayside, families that need that child tax credit, to leave those folks on the wayside is unacceptable to me. So I've seen the best of intentions. I want a more real guarantee."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday said that it "seems self-evident" that the planned $3.5 trillion reconciliation will be scaled down, while also stating that she would not bring a bill to the floor if it lacked the requisite votes for passage.

"I think even those who want a smaller number support the vision of the president," the California Democrat said on ABC's "This Week."

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