Biden attends Congressional Baseball Game amid legislative chaos

President Biden is attending the Congressional Baseball Game in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday night, with his legislative legacy at stake as negotiations between the White House and Capitol Hill over the bipartisan infrastructure bill, the reconciliation bill, the debt ceiling and government funding continue. 

Mr. Biden has had Democratic members of Congress in and out of the White House in recent days, during one of the most consequential legislative weeks in recent memory as his agenda hangs on the line. The president was scheduled to be in Chicago on Wednesday to push his administration’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign, but he stayed in town instead to help hammer out legislative agreements. 

Progressives are threatening to tank the infrastructure bill that passed with bipartisan support in the Senate without the completion of an up to $3.5 trillion social spending bill, while the government will partially shut down without funding after Thursday. Shortly before the baseball game, Senator Joe Manchin issued a statement saying he can’t support spending trillions of dollars, and expanding social programs must be based on means testing. The key Democratic senator’s statement throws a wrench in the timeline Democratic leadership had for passing both the infrastructure and reconciliation bills. 

Meanwhile, the U.S. is mere weeks away from reaching the debt ceiling and potentially defaulting on its debt for the first time in history.

The Congressional Baseball Game is an annual bipartisan event that’s been etched into the history of Washington since 1909, and it’s not uncommon for presidents to attend. The most vivid game in recent history came in 2017, after a man opened fire on a Republican practice for the game in June. House GOP Whip Steve Scalise was seriously injured in the shooting. 

congressional baseball game 2018
Rep Steve Scalise makes a play to first base resulting in an out after fielding a ground ball on the first pitch of the Congressional Baseball Game on June 14, 2018, in Washington, D.C.  Getty

The annual game didn’t happen last year due to COVID-19. 

The game benefits a number of charities, including the Washington Literacy Center, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, and Washington National Philanthropies.