US President Joe Biden traveled to Capitol Hill on Friday and promised that Democrats would pass legislation that is vital to his agenda to improve infrastructure and fight climate change, as bills within the party threatened to derail was given.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s six minutes, six days or six weeks — we’re going to get it done,” Biden told reporters as he exited a private meeting with House Democrats.
Democratic lawmakers are at odds over a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, as well as a $3.5 trillion Democratic social spending and climate change bill.
The Senate approved the infrastructure plan in a vote last month in which 19 Republicans joined all 50 members of the Democratic caucus.
However, the larger climate change and social spending bill lacks bipartisan support and has faced opposition from some Senate Democrats who say they will not support that much spending.
House progressives say they will not vote for an infrastructure bill until progress is made on a social spending bill, while Democratic moderates do not want to vote on a larger spending bill until the infrastructure bill is passed.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced earlier this week that an infrastructure bill to repair the nation’s old roads and bridges and expand broadband Internet service across the United States would be voted on Thursday. However, that vote never took place, even after hours of efforts among Democrats to reach an agreement failed.
Hopes for a quick deal were dashed when Joe Manchin, a moderate Senate Democrat from West Virginia, said he would not go ahead with his demand for a smaller climate and social security package of about $1.5 trillion, an amount rejected by progressives. Is.
Biden proposed a settlement amount of $1.9 trillion to $2.3 trillion at Friday’s meeting, according to the Associated Press, citing an undisclosed source who was present during the talks.
Because of the legislative deadlock, Biden opted to stay in Washington on Friday instead of traveling to Delaware as he stays for most of the weekend. The White House said Biden would visit US cities next week to prove that the two proposed laws would help Americans.
The House and Senate voted Thursday afternoon in favor of a stopgap law to keep the government funded until December 3 to avoid a midnight shutdown. Biden signed it into law on Thursday night at the White House.
Additionally, Pelosi told Democratic aides that the House would soon vote on suspending the national government’s debt limit.
Even if the House passes the law, its fate is uncertain, with 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats in a politically divided Senate.
Senate Republicans twice this week rejected efforts to suspend debt limits, saying it was intended to clear the way for a massive new spending plan by opposition Democrats to expand Social Safety Net programs. effort, the highest since 1960.
Republicans are equally opposed to Democratic proposals supported by Biden.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told Congressional leaders on Tuesday that the government would run out of money to pay its bills by October 18 if Congress does not suspend the debt limit or raise it to more than its current $28.4 trillion. .
Some information in this report has been received from The Associated Press and Reuters.