Biden Will Try to Break Logjam Himself

And Bernie Sanders is ticked at two fellow Democratic senators who remain holdouts
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 1, 2021 8:00 AM CDT
Pelosi Struggles to Bridge Chasm Within Her Party
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., leaves a private meeting with Joe Manchin, D-W. Va. and White House officials on Capitol Hill on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The shutdown has been averted, at least temporarily. Now the focus is solely on whether Democrats can reach a compromise on legislation crucial to President Biden's agenda. Toward that end, Biden himself will travel to Capitol Hill to meet with House Democrats later Friday afternoon, reports the Hill and Politico. Meanwhile, talks with Democratic holdouts Sens. Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema continue in earnest. More:

  • Pelosi promise: "There will be a vote today," she told reporters after midnight, per NBC News. "We're not trillions of dollars apart." Pelosi delayed Thursday's vote on a $1 trillion infrastructure plan because it appeared doomed to fail. Progressive members of the party are threatening to torpedo it as part of simultaneous negotiations on a larger $3.5 trillion spending package also in flux.

  • Progressives: "Nobody should be surprised that we are where we are, because we've been telling you that for three and a half months,” says Rep. Pramila Jayapal, head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Her group wants to make sure the $3.5 trillion package isn't stripped of money for programs such as family leave, pre-K, and climate change, per the New York Times.
  • Manchin, Sinema: Manchin and Sinema remain the key holdouts. Manchin says he won't support anything more than $1.5 trillion, while Sinema's concerns focus more on the prospect of increased taxes, per Axios. Both have been involved in intense negotiations with the White House and party leaders this week.
  • Manchin vs. progressives: The dispute is getting nasty. The West Virginia senator accuses his left-of-center colleagues of "fiscal insanity," while progressives such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accuse him of hypocrisy, reports the Hill. "Ever notice how 'deficit hawks' vote for record-high defense spending, yet claim bills that help people & challenge lobbyists are 'too much?'" she wrote.
  • Bernie Sanders: The Vermont senator, squarely in the progressives camp, lashed out at Manchin and Sinema. "2 senators cannot be allowed to defeat what 48 senators and 210 House members want," he tweeted. "We must stand with the working families of our country. We must combat climate change. We must delay passing the Infrastructure Bill until we pass a strong Reconciliation Bill."
  • Perspective: "The uncertainty on Capitol Hill marked a sharp contrast from what lawmakers had hoped would be a more joyous occasion for Biden, delivering him his first bipartisan victory," notes the Washington Post. "And it exposed an ever-growing sense of distrust among Democrats that only added to the challenge Pelosi and other leaders face in governing in a time of narrow majorities."
(More Congress stories.)

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