US President Joe Biden said on Saturday he was going to “work like hell” to get an infrastructure bill and a multi-trillion-dollar social spending bill passed through Congress and rallied with Americans to garner support. Was planning to travel more.
Biden visited the Capitol on Friday to try to end the fight between moderates and left-leaning progressives in his Democratic Party, which has threatened two bills that form the core of his domestic agenda.
The president accepted criticism Saturday that he had done little more to support the bills by traveling around the country. He noted that there were a number of reasons for this, including his focus on hurricanes and hurricane damage during recent voyages, among other things.
Biden said he would go around the country “making the case for why this is so important” and clarifying to people what the two bills contained.
He said he wants to make life more livable for ordinary Americans by making child care affordable with bills, for example.
“There is nothing in any of these laws that is radical, that is unfair,” Biden said. “I’m going to try to sell what I think people, the American people, will buy.”
Biden expressed confidence that both bills would pass, but declined to set a deadline, such as the November Thanksgiving holiday, when that would happen.
“I believe I can get it done,” Biden said.
Moderate Democratic lawmakers want an urgent vote in the House of Representatives on a $1 trillion infrastructure bill that has already passed the Senate, while progressives want to wait until longer to increase social spending and fight climate change. There should be no comprehensive agreement on the $3.5 trillion bill.
Biden, a former senator deeply familiar with the way the legislative process works, told his caucus on Friday that he could delay the vote on the smaller bill and increase the larger to nearly $2 trillion.
Meanwhile, the president said on Saturday he expected Republicans not to use a filibuster in the Senate to thwart efforts to raise the debt ceiling.
“It would be completely unconscious,” he said.
The Treasury Department estimates it has time to increase the government’s $28.4 trillion borrowing limit by Congress by October 18 or risk a loan default with potentially disastrous economic consequences.