Biden presses fellow Dems to Resolve party split. With a personal appeal, the President encouraged fellow Democrats to expedite work on his ambitious “build back better” plan, directing them to submit a final framework and their best topline budget figure as the party works to mend its congressional differences ahead of critical voting deadlines.
Biden and Democratic House & Senate lawmakers did meet for hours of back-to-back-to-back private White House sessions that lasted into the evening. The sessions came at a critical point in planning Biden’s $3.5 trillion stimulus package as lawmakers draft details of the impactful effort.
Given Republicans adamantly oppose, Democrats are banking on Biden to forge a compromise within the party between progressives and centrists. Biden met first with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, then with moderate & progressive senators and representatives in separate sessions.
Biden listened closely, lawmakers reported, but also expressed a strong desire for progress imminently, by next week.
The great focus on Biden’s massive domestic plan demonstrates just how much political capital is at stake for the President and his party in Congress. The White House termed the sessions “productive and candid” and indicated that follow-up work would begin immediately. Previously, the White House recognized that the President’s engagement must be enhanced with time running out.
Biden Presses Fellow Dems To Resolve Party Split On The Back Of Setbacks
Congress is rushing to meet Monday’s deadline for a House vote on the first aspect of Biden’s plan — a $1 trillion public works proposal — which has been extended to include a deadline for developing a consensus framework for the bigger package.
At one stage, Biden advised lawmakers that they might use the White House’s ample conference rooms to hunker down this weekend, as several recommended they roll up their sleeves and stay to finalize specifics.
Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a critical centrist who has expressed reservations about the $3.5 trillion budget, claimed the President instructed him to come up with a figure he could agree to.
“The president is fired up,” Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said.
Federal Reserve Chair holds that failure to lift the US debt ceiling is not something Democrats can or should contemplate. The House and Senate are at odds with funding the government beyond the fiscal year’s end on September 30 and suspend the federal debt ceiling.
Democratic centrists and progressives have reached an agreement ahead of a test vote on a smaller public works measure, including roads, telecommunications, and public water projects. Progressive Democrats refuse to vote for the $1 trillion plan because they believe it is insufficient until it is included in the larger package. Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, the moderate coalition’s leader, said all members agreed on Monday to pass the bill and work on the larger package.
Biden Presses Fellow Dems To Resolve Party Split In The Face Of A Looming Fiscal Crisis, & A 50-50 Senate Debacle
The $3.5 trillion package would raise taxes on corporations and wealthy Americans earning more than $400,000 per year and reinvest the proceeds in federal programs for young and seniors, as well as investments to combat climate change. It is a primary campaign pledge made by President Joe Biden and most Democratic lawmakers up for re-election.
Over 20 lawmakers were asked to meet with Biden, moderates, and progressives in separate meetings that lasted into the evening, making their best appeals, including Manchin and another crucial centrist, Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema.
Many Democrats assert that they expect the final result to be consistent with Biden’s broader vision and garner broad party support, even if that version is adjusted or toned back.
However, Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Florida, the centrist Blue Dog caucus leader, stated that the large bill would take longer to complete. “I’m not convinced we’ve reached a point of no return yet,” she remarked.
While this is unfolding, the government risks a shutdown if funding is not provided by September 30, the fiscal year’s end. Additionally, the US risks defaulting on its accrued debt load at some point in October if its borrowing ceilings are not lifted or adjusted.
To avert that catastrophe, the Democratic-led House of Representatives passed a debt ceiling and funding-and-debt compromise. Still, Republicans in the Senate refuse to vote on it, despite the risk of sparking a fiscal crisis.
Even so, with a 50-50 Senate, Democrats will grapple with finding ten Republicans to get the 60 votes necessary to prevent a filibuster. Other avenues of seeking to pass the debt ceiling package could prove more difficult procedurally.
The Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, has stated that because Democrats run the White House and Congress, it is their burden to secure the votes — despite having counted on bipartisan support to pass debt limit bills while Republicans were in charge.