Washington — President Biden is heading to Michigan on Tuesday to continue pitching his domestic policy agenda as the White House attempts to bridge the deep divisions in the Democratic Party over the size and scope of the president’s sweeping social spending package.
Mr. Biden will travel to Howell, Michigan, and visit a training facility for the International Union of Operating Engineers before delivering remarks to drum up support for the two plans that are cornerstones of his agenda: the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and the larger package toand combat climate change.
Both efforts are in legislative limbo as Democrats try to hash out the details of the more wide-ranging proposal, which encompasses Democrats’ plans for universal pre-K, free community college, child and elder care and to expand Medicare.
Democratic leaders are attempting to navigate internal divisions between progressive lawmakers and two moderate senators, who want to see the package’s $3.5 trillion price tag trimmed. Further complicating the path to success for the two bills are Democrats’ fragile majorities in the House and Senate, as opposition to either measure from a small bloc of lawmakers can derail their passage.
Mr. Biden and top White House officials have convened meetings this week to negotiate the terms of the social spending package and which programs they want to include in the plan. The president on Mondaywith a dozen progressive House members and set a price range of $1.9 trillion and $2.2 trillion for the proposal.
Before departing for Michigan, he is poised to speak again with House Democrats about the pair of proposals, according to the White House.
The narrow physical infrastructure bill has already, but its approval by the Democratic-led House is linked to passage of the larger package by the upper chamber, where Democrats need support from all 50 of its members in order for it to pass.
Democrats are using a budget process called reconciliation to fast-track the larger package through the Senate without needing Republican votes, but Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, both moderate Democrats, have taken issue with the size of the plan.
It’s unclear what or how much Sinema would like to see trimmed from the sweeping package, but Manchin last week said his topline figure is $1.5 trillion. He also told National Review last week the legislation must also include the Hyde Amendment, a legislative provision that bars the use of federal funds for abortions except in certain instances.
Manchin’s requirement sets up another obstacle for Democrats to overcome in their negotiations over the sweeping package, as Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, a Washington Democrat who chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told CNN in an interview Sunday she cannot support a bill that includes the Hyde Amendment.