Biden & House Progressives Narrow Differences On Reconciliation Bill
Amid an interparty disagreement on his Build Back Better plan, President Joe Biden is narrowing his differences with party progressives on the reconciliation budget bill this week. The president has suggested that the price tag should now come in around $1.9 trillion to $2.5 trillion.
The House vote on his trillion-dollar infrastructure bill was tabled Friday after the president insisted that the vote must wait until Democrats reach an agreement to pass his far more sweeping package.
Biden, along with the progressive Democrats, has been calling for a bill of $3.5 trillion to improve the social safety net and climate change policies.
“My Build Back Better Agenda and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will spur economic growth – creating and supporting 4 million jobs a year,” Biden tweeted Saturday morning, just a few hours after the deal fell through again. “As we continue our economic recovery, we can’t afford not to seize this opportunity.”
My Build Back Better Agenda and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will spur economic growth – creating and supporting 4 million jobs a year.
As we continue our economic recovery, we can’t afford not to seize this opportunity.
— President Biden (@POTUS) October 2, 2021
The infrastructure bill is the Biden administration’s top priority. As the uncertainty loomed, Biden even canceled his planned trip to Chicago just to convince Democrats to reach an agreement.
The president asked to delay the vote once again as he failed to convince the centrist Democrats who have been insisting that $3.5 trillion is too expensive.
“I’m telling you, we’re going to get this done,” Biden told reporters as he left the Capitol Friday. “It doesn’t matter when. It doesn’t matter whether it’s in six minutes, six days or six weeks, we’re going to get it done.”
Following the Friday meeting, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) has announced that a new deadline for the House floor to pass the spending bill is October 31.
“Yesterday, we extended the Thursday, September 30th legislative day to Friday, pushing to passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework and to advance Build Back Better,” Pelosi said in the statement Friday. “But more time was needed to reach our goal of passing both bills, which we will.”
Biden administration and Democratic leaders in the Congress are set to continue their efforts to convince Sens. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona), two Senate Democratic centrists who refused the Democratic party’s most ambitious bill.
Despite all the blowback that Manchin and Sinema are receiving from his party, especially from the progressives, Democrats need their votes. In a 50-50 Senate, the Democrats can’t lose a single vote from their side if they want to pass a bill through budget reconciliation.