In the final hours before the infrastructure bill passed on Friday, five moderate Democrats made a promise: They would vote for the president’s Build Back Better framework — the infrastructure bill’s long-linked counterpart — if the Congressional Budget Office scores the roughly $1.75 trillion measure as budget-neutral. The moderates’ statement, plus some presidential pleading, convinced most of the party’s progressive wing to let the infrastructure bill proceed.

Most — but not all: The six members of the Squad — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Cori Bush (Mo.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Jamaal Bowman (N.Y.) and Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) — voted “no,” fearful that passing the infrastructure package will kill the leverage for Build Back Better. On CNN on Sunday, one of those moderates — Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) — showed why the Squad is right to be nervous.

Asked by “State of the Union” host Dana Bash whether he would vote for the bill if the CBO score showed it adding to the deficit, Gottheimer dodged three times. “We expect the information we receive [from the CBO] to be in line with what we received from the Treasury Department,” he said. The implication was obvious: Any difference between the CBO and the White House would give Gottheimer an excuse to hold up the bill again.

If Gottheimer and the moderates who joined his pledge were committed fiscal hawks, one could argue they were merely standing on principle. But this principle is flimsy at best. After all, the infrastructure bill Gottheimer was (rightly) celebrating isn’t fully paid for; it adds $256 billion to the deficit. Apparently, whether a bill “does the responsible thing fiscally,” as Gottheimer put it, is of selective importance.

Worse, if there’s a risk of Build Back Better not being fully paid for, it’s in no small part because its largest program involves increasing the deductibility of state and local taxes — an initiative Gottheimer has championed.

In a vacuum, one can defend raising the SALT cap — that is, how much in state and local taxes can be deducted from taxpayers’ income. The existing limits were passed in 2017 to raise money — mostly from blue state residents — to fund the Trump tax cuts. While most of the benefits would flow to the wealthiest Americans, some do go to middle-class households, especially in high tax states such as Gottheimer’s New Jersey. “This is for working class and hard-working families, middle-class families in my district,” Gottheimer claimed.

But if Gottheimer and other supporters were only worried about the impact on the middle class, they could have backed Sens. Robert Menendez and Bernie Sanders’s alternative proposal that would preserve the current cap for households making more than mid-six figures. Instead, the higher SALT cap means that taxpayers making as much as $300 million will get a tax cut from the BBB.

In no just world should this major social spending bill do more for millionaires (lifting the SALT cap costs around $475 billion, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, than it does for preschoolers (increased child care support and universal pre-K combined cost around $400 billion.) And yet that is the framework Gottheimer and his allies have insisted on — while simultaneously claiming the mantle of “fiscal responsibility.”

To be clear, passing both bills isn’t just a matter of “you got yours, now give us ours.” These bills were linked in a two-track approach because they are mutually beneficial. The infrastructure bill includes some spending on climate-related measures, along with much more in funding for projects that would result in increased emissions. But without the tax credits and other investments in clean energy contained in the Build Back Better bill, the combined bills won’t do nearly enough to address climate change

Politically, the two bills go hand in hand as well. The infrastructure package will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, experts estimate, but not all of the projects it funds will be visible to voters in the near future — that is, by the 2022 midterms. The BBB, meanwhile, has multiple programs (an expanded child care tax credit, universal pre-K, a partial Medicare expansion, and so on) that voters will notice right away.

But these mutual benefits have been true for months (indeed, they were even stronger before moderates watered down the BBB). Still, they haven’t been enough to win over holdouts such as Gottheimer. If the CBO score (or something else) isn’t to their liking, all the leverage for the BBB is gone. And that’s before the bill gets to the Senate and has to survive demands from Sens. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) — again without that leverage.

Perhaps this will all work out for the best. Perhaps the CBO score will satisfy the House moderates, and Manchin and Sinema will come to their senses. Perhaps House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will pull off another virtuoso vote-whipping performance, and perhaps a little of her magic will rub off on Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.).

But it’s an unnecessary bet for a party whose bets haven’t always paid off. And the Squad is right to want more.