Congress

The outcome of Democrats’ dual spending bills, with trillions of dollars in investments, could effectively be the denouement of the speaker’s long and historic career.

With her narrowest majority in history, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has less room to maneuver than ever before on what could end up being the biggest bill ever to pass Congress. | Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

By HEATHER CAYGLE, SARAH FERRIS and NICHOLAS WU

09/25/2021 07:01 AM EDT

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Nancy Pelosi has never been in a bind like this before.

The speaker is on the cusp of muscling through a pair of bills that amount to trillions of dollars in investments that, if they make it to President Joe Biden’s desk, will reshape both her and the president’s legacies.

But Pelosi is working with a caucus that can’t even agree to disagree at the moment and a pair of centrist senators — who don’t answer to her — with their own ideas about how things should go. Pelosi is a self-described “master legislator” but even her power over how Biden’s agenda plays out across two chambers with threadbare majorities has its limits.

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