There has been a change of strategy for President Biden as he works with fellow Democrats holding up two key pieces of his domestic agenda. The president met with Democratic House members on Capitol Hill on Friday in an effort to win support and encourage compromise for his infrastructure plan and his massive social programs initiative.
The bottom line: Mr. Biden will need more time to push the bills across the finish line.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had promised moderates a vote on the infrastructure bill on Friday, but when progressives threatened to taint the measure, those plans fells apart, Christina Ruffini reports from the White House.
After an in-person visit from President Biden, some progressive Democrats say they may be willing to compromise on their proposed $3.5 trillion spending plan.
“If we are going to think about anything less than the number, what we would rather do is get as many things in as possible,” said Representative Primala Jayapal.
Democratic in-fighting over the size and scope of the bill is putting the president’s domestic agenda at risk.
“It doesn’t matter whether it’s in six minutes, six days or six weeks. We’re going to get it done,” Mr. Biden said on Friday.
The in-fighting has also twice delayed a House vote on the $1.2 trillion, bi-partisan infrastructure bill.
“There is a little bit of distrust among the progressives and the moderates and we’re trying to figure out a process, how do we get there, how do we land this plane?” said Representative Henry Cuellar.
While warring factions fixate on the spending measure, the stalled infrastructure plan has caused a lapse in funding for certain highway and transit programs, and the furlough of workers.
“There are 4,000 lives and families, too, that might be furloughed because of us. I mean, come on, ” said Representative Dean Phillips.
The House on Friday did approve a 30-day funding measure for the Department of Transportation to help mitigate some of those furloughs. That measure will go to the Senate on Saturday afternoon.