Pelosi, top Dem deputy send mixed messages on infrastructure bill hours ahead of possible vote

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her top deputy, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, sent mixed messages on how likely it is that the House passes an infrastructure bill Thursday, in comments that came just minutes apart. 

"Think positively," Pelosi, D-Calif., said to conclude her press conference Thursday. She attempted to reassure progressives saying, "We will have a reconciliation bill for sure" and, "That is the plan," referring to passing the infrastructure bill on Thursday.

"We are proceeding in a very positive way to bring up the bill of the BIF, to do so in a way that can win. And so far so good," Pelosi said. She added that Democrats "are on a path to win the vote."

But minutes later, Hoyer, D-Md., directly contradicted Pelosi when asked whether he thinks the infrastructure bill will pass Thursday. 

"Nope," Hoyer said. 

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Dozens of House progressives will vote against the infrastructure bill if it comes to the floor before there is a solid agreement on the reconciliation bill, according to their caucus. But moderate Senate Democrats are taking their time in negotiations with Democratic leadership on what that bill could look like. 

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., specifically has said the current $3.5 trillion plan would be very harmful to the government and the economy because of how much farther into debt the U.S. would go and because it would likely trigger more inflation. 

Pelosi, nevertheless, said she believes Manchin is up to negotiate and remained optimistic there is a way to pass the infrastructure bill Thursday – only a few days after she initially promised House moderates she would bring the bill up. 

"We are proceeding in a very positive way to bring up the bill of the BIF, to do so in a way that can win. And so far so good," Pelosi said. She added that Democrats "are on a path to win the vote."

What path that is isn't clear. Manchin said Thursday that he "cannot accept" the United States shifting to an "entitlement mentality" with people expecting to be taken care of by big government programs. Democrats' reconciliation bill is packed with such programs. 

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Manchin and progressives also appear to be trillions of dollars apart on their demands. Manchin told top Democrats earlier this year that he cannot guarantee his vote on any bill that costs more than $1.5 trillion, according to a Senate aide. 

But a progressive source told FOX Business Wednesday night that "anything less than $2.5T would be very tough to swallow" for progressives, meaning that they would not be able to guarantee their votes on the infrastructure bill. 

If the infrastructure bill fails Thursday it would be a major blow to Democrats' agenda, though not necessarily a fatal one as both the infrastructure bill and the reconciliation bill could be brought up at a later time. But by missing self-imposed deadlines, Democrats might put some of their members in a position to harden their stances rather than compromise more. 

Fox News' Hillary Vaughn, Kelly Phares and Jacqui Heinrich contributed to this report. 

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