Despite delays with $3.5T plan, Biden vows to ‘get it done’

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President Joe Biden has vowed to “get it done” in the Capitol as Democrats salvage a scaled-back version of his $3.5 trillion government-overhaul plan and a related public works bill after days of frantic talks put pressure on

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But it’s not happening yet.

Biden raged on his home turf with House Democrats in a private meeting Friday that was part prescriptive, part morale booster to a torn caucus of lawmakers, telling them he wanted both bills. be passed regardless of time. According to lawmakers in the room, they discussed a settlement topline of $1.9 trillion to more than $2 trillion for their bigger vision.


But it was clear that they were all in it for the long haul as the White House and its allies in Congress gear up for long talks.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s six minutes, six days or six weeks — we’re going to get it done,” Biden announced to reporters as he left his late afternoon meeting at the Capitol.

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It’s a critical time for both the president and the party, as Biden’s approval ratings have plummeted and Democrats are restless, eager to fulfill their signature campaign promise of rebuilding the country. His ideas go beyond infrastructure of roads and bridges, providing dental, vision and hearing care for seniors, free pre-kindergarten for youth, major efforts to combat climate change and other investments that will impact countless American lives. .

Biden’s sudden visit to Capitol Hill was intended to give the law a needed boost toward the finish line. Holdout Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia dashed hopes of a swift settlement on a framework when he, despite hours of shuttle diplomacy with White House aides, made his demands for a smaller overall package of about $1.5 trillion. But late on Thursday night refused to budge.

Without a comprehensive deal, prospects for Friday’s vote on the companion public works bill stalled, with progressives refusing to cast their votes until senators reached an agreement. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a letter to aides late in the evening that “more time is needed” as they shape the broader package.

Instead the House passed a 30-day stopgap measure to keep transportation programs running during the impasse, essentially setting a new deadline for talks, October 31. The Senate was set to follow up with a vote on Saturday, withholding the leave of more than 3,500. Federal transportation workers, a byproduct of the political deadlock.

With Republicans opposing Biden’s broad vision, the president and his party are reaching for a colossal legislative achievement on their own—all to be paid for by rewriting the federal balance sheet with tax increases on corporations and the wealthy, who earn more than $400,000. Year.

As a ground for action in Congress on Friday, Biden did not present any specific new legislative strategy. Keeping his promise to centrists, Pelosi insisted there would be a “vote today” on a $1 trillion infrastructure bill that is popular but has been mired in debate over Biden’s sweeping measure.

With Democratic progressives refusing to voice their support for that thin roads and bridges bill unless the president advances on the larger bill, Pelosi — with an oh-so-slim House majority — is willing to call for the vote. was not.

Biden insisted that both bills passed, approving the progressives’ strategy, while floating a lower number meant accepting a deal with the impending centrists.

“He was really clear that we needed to get both bills done,” said Representative Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., a leader of the Congress Progressive Caucus.

Manchin and to a lesser extent Sen. Kirsten Cinema of Arizona, two centrist Democrats who helped the $1 trillion public works bill pass the Senate but worry Biden’s overall bill is too large. The two senators have angered allies with their close talks that could stall Biden’s effort — and his own campaign promises.

After talks that lasted for hours near midnight on Thursday, Munchkin said he was yet to settle on more than his $1.5 trillion offer.

Biden, a former six-term senator who is making his first personal visit to the House Democratic caucus, told lawmakers on Friday that “I know a little bit about the legislative process,” according to a person familiar with the private comments and He said even a small bill could lead to historic investments in areas such as childcare, daycare and clean energy.

Biden also aired a story that marked the moment.

The president told him that when his White House office was renovated, hung with photographs of Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt, the presidents “led a deeply divided country and the greatest economic change—and that That’s the kind of moment we’re in,” said Rip David Chisilin, DR.I.

The White House said the president plans to travel to other cities next week to make sure his historic measures will help the American people.

Biden’s big proposal is a one-year collection of Democratic priorities with an eventual price tag, which he says is zero, because tax revenue will cover the cost of spending — the high rate on businesses earning more than $5 million, and Individuals earning more than $400,000 per year, or more than $450,000 for couples.

Tensions escalated late Wednesday when Munchkin sent out a furious statement, calling the widespread spending “fiscal insanity.”

It is not only Manchin’s demand that he reduce the overall size, but the terms he is insisting are irritating his more liberal allies. For example, he wants to make sure that aid is only…


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