Biden seeks to limit Democratic Party infiltration with $4T economic agenda
President Biden He is expected to hold a series of meetings Wednesday with Democratic lawmakers, including party leaders, as he attempts to stave off an intrapartisan war between moderates and progressives that could derail their $4 trillion Economic Agenda
According to a person familiar with the matter, Biden is expected to meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, as well as a wide range of Democrats from across the ideological spectrum.
The explosion of meetings comes as Democrats jockey for control in a narrowly divided Congress, a battle that could ultimately derail both parts of Biden’s agenda: the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and the other, a multitrillion -dollar package that Democrats plan to pass along party lines. through budget reconciliation.
“I hope he has the secret sauce,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said of Biden on Tuesday night. “The President of the United States is always a very influential person, and I know he wants to pass both bills.”
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At the heart of the divide is a battle to leverage over the size and scope of the reconciliation bill: Progressives say $3.5 trillion is the minimum needed to broadly expand the social safety net and combat climate change. Although centrists are wary of another multitrillion-dollar bill – funded by new taxes on wealthy Americans and corporations, no less – the coronavirus pandemic pushed the US deficit to a record high.
With their incredibly thin congressional majority, Democrats face a delicate balancing act in advancing their so-called “two-track” agenda — approving both a bipartisan deal and a major tax and spending bill — or They risk losing the support of the moderate or progressive. Member
In the House, where Pelosi has only three seats left, it is possible that progressive lawmakers could torpedo the bipartisan deal if it is not tied to a larger reconciliation package that would form the basis of President Biden’s agenda for economic and health. , education and environment. program.
Pelosi last month committed to a September 27 deadline to vote on the infrastructure bill, which includes more than $500 billion in new funding for traditional projects like roads and bridges, to help a small section of centrist lawmakers. to put an end to the rebellion.
But progressive lawmakers are demanding similar assurances that the comprehensive spending package will not break amid some pushback from moderates in both the House and Senate, including West Virginia’s Sens. Joe Manchin and Arizona’s Kirsten Cinema. Munchkin has called for a “pause” in the reconciliation bill that Democrats plan to pass with a party-line vote.
Representative Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, is adamant that her members will not vote for a Senate-approved infrastructure bill until the upper house also passes the $3.5 trillion bill.
Asked if the progressives were bluffing over their threat to reject the bipartisan plan, Jaipal said: “Try us.”
At the same time, moderate Democrats are also vowing to rebel if the left manages to keep the infrastructure bill that Biden has described as a major bipartisan achievement. Democrats are still drafting the big spending bill as they grapple with the specifics of what to include and how to pay for it.
“This is critically important to the White House,” Representative Josh Gottheimer, DN.J., said. “I am optimistic that we will not only make it to the destination, but we will also get votes.”
Granthshala Business’ Hilary Vaughan contributed to this report