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Biden pressures Democrats to adopt his economic agenda

Biden pressures Democrats to adopt his economic agenda
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Biden pressures Democrats to adopt his economic agenda

Biden pressures Democrats to adopt his economic agenda

WASHINGTON – President Biden and his allies made an all-out effort in Congress on Wednesday to salvage Mr Biden’s economic agenda, even as an attempt to usher in a deal between moderates and progressives over a pair of bills which will cost trillions to rebuild the infrastructure. , expanding access to education, fighting climate change, etc.

Mr Biden canceled a scheduled visit to Chicago, where he was planning to promote COVID-19 vaccination, to continue speaking with lawmakers during a crucial week in the House deadline. A person familiar with the meeting said a key holdout vote in the Senate, Kirsten Cinemas, a centrist from Arizona, was scheduled to visit the White House on Wednesday morning.

Ms. Cinema was one of the Democratic champions of a bipartisan bill, brokered by Mr. Biden, that would cost more than $1 trillion over the next several years on physical infrastructure such as water pipes, roads, bridges, electric vehicle charging stations and broadband Internet. to spend more. That bill passed the Senate this summer. Voting is to be held in the House this week. But progressive Democrats have threatened to block it unless it is combined with a more detailed bill that includes the rest of Biden’s domestic agenda, such as Universal Prekindergarten and Free Community College, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and A host of efforts are to reduce tax breaks for workers and families who fight poverty and promote labor force participation.

Ms Cinema and another centrist in the Senate, West Virginia’s Joe Manchin III, have objected to the scope of that big bill and stressed the $3.5 trillion price tag Democratic leaders have attached to it. Moderates in the House and Senate, led by Ms. Cinema, have opposed several tax hikes on high earners and corporations, which Mr. Biden called to offset spending and tax cuts in the bill to avoid adding more to the budget. was offered. loss.

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Mr Biden has so far failed to convince Ms Cinema and Mr Manchin to publicly agree to a framework for how much they are willing to spend and what taxes they are willing to raise to fund the more elaborate bill. Huh. If Mr Biden is unable to find a way to reassure progressives and persuade them to support his infrastructure bill as well as address their concerns, he may see warring factions in his party. Will kill his entire economic agenda in a span of few days.

Some Democrats have complained this week that the president has not engaged in negotiations to their satisfaction, although he has approved his program this week in hopes of brokering a deal. For example, he welcomed groups of progressives and moderates to the White House last week, but met with each separately, unlike the group talks session.

Ms Cinema and Mr Manchin both visited the White House on Tuesday, but after their meetings, neither he nor White House officials will calculate the outline of a bill they might support.

“The president felt it was constructive, he felt he pushed the ball, there was an agreement, that we are at a critical moment,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Tuesday. “It’s important to continue to finalize the way forward for the American people to find work.”

White House officials said late Tuesday that Mr Biden remained in constant contact with a wide range of Democrats, including phone calls with progressives, and would have more talks on Wednesday.

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