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There were a lot of theories about which role President Joe Biden May take last weekend to visit with House Democrats.

The touchstones of the president’s domestic agenda strike the balance: a massive infrastructure bill and social spending package.

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What hat can the president wear to this convention?

Biden on Congress agenda amid dame division, says ‘everyone is disappointed’

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referee? liberal Democrats And the progressives continued to hug each other for days over the size of the infrastructure bill and social spending package. President Biden may have to settle the conflict.

Seller? Mr Biden needed to convince his party to give in to someone to stop him from undermining his agenda.

how close? As in “baseball close.” You know, Aroldis Chapman/Josh Hader/Kenly Jensen Closer. They bring it to the mound in the bottom of the ninth to end the game. It was believed that President Biden waited until he was required to personally join the Democratic caucus. Thus, you get into the role of closer to Capitol Hill. Only the President could close the deal on such a bill.

It turns out that Mr Biden’s portrayal on Capitol Hill last weekend was none of the above.

President’s role? “Plate Spinner in-Chief.”

The infrastructure package was stalled. It lacked votes. There were differences among Democrats over the social spending plan.

Biden says infrastructure vote won’t happen this week

President Biden put all these plates on top of the poles. The plates were moving here and there. Yet if Mr Biden hadn’t done anything, his legislative plates would have risen from the pillars and crashed to the floor.

President’s agenda last week Capitol Hill Just had to run around all the different poles and give the plates a whirl. This will maintain inertia and keep it from falling backwards.

for now.

It is an operation of incrementalism. The President acknowledged that the House lacked the votes to pass the Infrastructure Bill. Representative Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., chair of the Progressive Caucus, acknowledged that her group would have to demand less than $3.5 trillion on the social spending bill.

moderate democrat Was apologetic and angry at the turn of events House Speaker Nancy Pelosic, D-California. He promised to vote centrist Democrats on the infrastructure bill on Monday, Sept. 27. After the deadline, Pelosi said repeatedly that he expected the House to vote on infrastructure.

It never happened.

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Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., chairs a coalition of moderate Democrats known as the Blue Dogs. Murphy said he was “disillusioned” and “extremely disappointed” by the process.

Murphy also burned liberals in his own party who withdrew support for the infrastructure bill.

“No member of Congress, and certainly no member of my own party, has the slightest advantage over my vote,” Murphy said.

Josh Gottheimer, DNJ, co-chair of the bipartisan problem solver caucus, lashed out at Pelosi. Gottheimer said Pelosi had “violated” his agreement with moderate Democrats. He also announced that “this small faction on the far left” attempted to “destroy the president’s agenda”. Gottheimer said that liberals “risk civilization and bipartisan rule.”

There are dramatic cracks inside the Democratic caucus.

It can’t be beautiful. There may be some political risk to the president coming to Capitol Hill and then failing to “seal the deal.” But, Mr Biden accomplished one goal: He kept the plates spinning.

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This fight isn’t over yet. But here are the observations as Democrats continue to wrestle with their domestic agenda.

Jayapal demonstrated that he controlled the votes to prevent the bipartisan infrastructure bill from moving forward. Pelosi says she doesn’t go to the floor and gives up. Jayapal prevented Pelosi from putting the infrastructure bill on the floor – despite several promises from the speaker that the House would do infrastructure. Pelosi has one of the best vote counters to walk the halls of the Capitol. But Jaipal passed his first major exam.

Jayapal also demonstrated practicality by agreeing to reduce the cost of the Social Expenditure Plan. But Jayapal got what she wanted: a delay in the infrastructure bill.

“You all didn’t believe me, but I kept saying we are not going to vote,” Jaipal said. “I kept telling [Pelosi] That we didn’t have votes, and I knew she knew it.”

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Jayapal estimated that no more than 45 to 50 moderates would vote for the infrastructure bill. He made good on that promise. The House could not vote.

Pelosi was interrupted by progressives blocking their votes on infrastructure. It underscores the liberal grip on the House Democratic caucus.

It’s not fair to say that Pelosi is down for the count on this. But the drama over the Social Expenditure Bill and the infrastructure package is one of the few times the Speaker has failed to deliver. Granted, Pelosi is playing one of the most challenging hands ever. However, historically, if anyone on Capitol Hill has acted as “close to” over the years, it has been Pelosi. And if there’s going to be a final settlement, Pelosi will get a lot of credit. So Pelosi lives to fight another day.

But for now the plates keep spinning. President Biden was successful at least in that final week.

And as you walk around Capitol Hill, you can practically hear the saber dance echoing through the hall as Democrats run around the stage, trying to hit the plates off the ground.