Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Congress, Biden continue infrastructure talks through the weekend

October 2 (WNN) — Democratic lawmakers voted again on a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, but President Joe Biden said on Saturday he was confident Congress would pass it and set aside the social spending law.

Biden visited Capitol Hill on Friday to meet with members of the Democratic caucus in an effort to advance his agenda and encourage the bills to be passed.

“There’s no reason the two bills can’t pass,” he told reporters as he left the White House on Saturday morning on his way to Delaware.

“There is nothing radical in these pieces of legislation. I believe I can get it done.”

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden plans to “continue close engagement” with members of both the House and Senate over the weekend.

“And he looks forward to not only welcoming members to the White House next week, but also traveling the country to make the case for his bold and ambitious agenda.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she was sure the infrastructure bill would pass Thursday, then again on Friday, but disagreements between liberals and progressive Democrats have kept her from bringing the law to the vote.

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She said Friday night that “more time is needed” to garner the support needed to pass the bill.

Progressives sought to pass a larger reconciliation bill for $3.5 trillion in social benefits as well as a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, but the two fell apart.

Moderate sense. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., and Kirsten Cinemas, D-Ariz., refused to agree to a public framework for the reconciliation bill, saying the $3.5 trillion price tag was too high. Manchin said he would only go as high as $1.5 trillion.

Although Congress passed a stopgap funding measure to keep the government open until December, it did not include funding for some Department of Transportation employees.

According to Politico, the infrastructure bill includes funding for some highway and transit programs. Authorization for these programs expired at midnight Thursday and if the infrastructure bill is not passed by Sunday, it could put the salaries of thousands of workers at risk.

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