Democratic lawmakers in Washington are scrambling to pass both infrastructure bills that make up the bulk of US President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda. In a last-minute push to pass the pieces of legislation needed, Biden is set to meet with House Democrats ahead of his trip to Europe.
Biden is expected to meet with House Democrats Thursday morning before he leaves for Europe in a last-minute bid to get progressive Democrats to vote to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill that has already passed the Senate. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is looking to hold a vote by the House Thursday on the bill, but progressive Democrats want the bill to be passed in tandem with the Democratic-led legislation for social infrastructure and climate.
The last-minute stop at Capitol Hill may delay Biden’s trip to Europe for the international summits alongside other world leaders. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki assured the press that there is “flexibility” in the US leader’s schedule.
Biden is expected to provide an update on his Build Back Better Act while getting progressives to go on board to vote to pass the infrastructure bill, which they have warned to oppose if the Democratic-led legislation is not passed at the same time. In a tweet Wednesday, Biden hinted that a deal may be reached in getting some key parts of his agenda passed.
Democratic leaders in the House and Senate remain optimistic that the negotiations would lead to an agreement despite some issues that were taken by senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. Both have opposed the provision of increasing taxes for the wealthy and for corporations. Manchin also took issue with some of the climate provisions.
In other related news, Biden has only been in office for nine months, yet his administration has continued what MSNBC called a pattern among presidents of both political parties for four decades. In Biden’s first nine months in office, the country’s deficit has seen a drop following a high deficit during his immediate predecessor’s term. The shrinking deficit in Biden’s first nine months in office also is in line with the pattern of Democratic presidents shrinking the deficit that increased during a Republican president.