Biden seeks support for infrastructure deal after failed bid طرح

Joe Biden will travel to La Crosse, Wisconsin, on Tuesday to sell his $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan to voters in the swing state in the Midwest.

The president’s comprehensive legislative package includes an unprecedented amount of federal investment in the US rail network and bridges, as well as the rollout of a nationwide network of electric vehicle chargers and the expansion of high-speed express access.

But there is a catch. Back in Washington, Prospects for a bipartisan deal In doubt, after Biden last week overshadowed his announcement by effectively threatening to veto the legislation unless it was tied to a more ambitious anti-poverty spending package.

This second package, known as the American Families Act, is not expected to get any Republican support and Democratic congressional leaders hope to pass it through the divided Senate on a partisan vote using a parliamentary procedure known as reconciliation.

The threat of a veto by Biden elicited outcry from Republicans, including those who helped craft the bipartisan deal, who felt the president was engaging in “swipe-and-switch tactics.” It also cast doubt on one of his main selling points – that he is a Washington veteran with a knack for difficult legislative feats.

Doug Hay, a Republican strategist and former congressional staffer, said the president “jumped the gun,” adding, “Presidents don’t. When you say we have a deal, it usually means everyone is on the same page. That’s clearly not the case. “.

“This could all explode for many different reasons,” said Jim Manley, an aide to Harry Reid, a former Senate Democratic majority leader from Nevada. “There’s no denying that the president’s comments last week caused some hiccups.”

Biden on Saturday tried to limit the fallout from his comments, in a lengthy statement apologizing for giving “the impression I was issuing a veto threat.”

The sudden turn It would have appeased some moderate Republicans, but it has sparked anger among progressive Democrats, who are more enthusiastic about the $1.8 trillion anti-poverty package than the bipartisan bill. They are increasingly concerned about the president’s efforts to please Republicans and conservative members of their party – namely, Joe Manchin and Kirsten Cinema, senators from West Virginia and Arizona, respectively.

Several left-wing members of the House of Representatives — including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Corey Bush and Jamal Bowman — joined activists from the progressive Sunrise movement outside the White House on Monday, as they protested the lack of climate measures in the bipartisan agreement. The demonstrators carried banners reading “Biden, you coward, fight for us,” and chanted “No climate, no deal.”

Corey Bush gathered hundreds of young climate activists outside the White House protesting the lack of climate change measures in a bipartisan infrastructure bill © Getty Images

The complex political picture shows the difficult balancing act that Biden must perform if he is to deliver on his campaign promise to get through the political aisle while allaying the concerns of the progressive left base that helped put him in the White House in the first place. .

The bipartisan agreement would need the support of at least 10 Republican senators — plus one Republican for every Democrat who defects and votes against the deal — if it is to become law. Given the House Democrats’ slim majority, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will also need to fend off a rebellion from Ocasio-Cortez and others if the deal is to pass the House.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday called on Biden to instruct Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Pelosi to formally “disengage” the bipartisan deal from the reconciliation package.

Unless Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi retract their threats. . . McConnell said President Biden’s retreat from his veto threat would be a hollow gesture. “The president cannot let Congressional Democrats hold a bipartisan bill hostage to a separate, partisan process.”

The White House said Monday that Biden has now made his position clear, and that the president will do everything in his power to secure bipartisan agreement and a larger reconciliation package.

But Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, declined to go into details — including whether Schumer and Pelosi should change course and disengage the projects — arguing that it was up to them how best to push the legislation forward in Congress.

“The most influential role . . . that the president thinks he can play . . . is to present the issue to the American people, to the public, about how officials work together to present it to them.”

Psaki added, “That’s exactly what his focus will be on, for sure [he] You will work in close coordination with leaders in Congress, but it is up to them to determine the sequencing of the legislation.”

Veterans on Capitol Hill are warning that McConnell’s threats should not be taken seriously, and that the Republican senator from Kentucky may scuttle the legislation before the end of the summer. He was not part of the bipartisan infrastructure negotiations, nor did he say whether he supported the resulting deal.

“[McConnell] “He’s trying to spend his time figuring out if he’ll be able to cross the line or not,” Hey said. He does not spend any political capital until such time as it does. If they have a viable deal, that’s one thing, but until they do, he’ll take his stand as he did.”

Manley agreed, “Senator McConnell played his first role [on Monday] When he actively began to undermine negotiations. It remains to be seen how things go.”

Manley said there were “no independent staff” in the Republican Senate caucus, adding, “In the end, they’ll do what McConnell tells them to.”

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Rana Forouhar and Edward Luce discuss the biggest topics of the intersection of money and power in American politics every Monday and Friday. Subscribe to our newsletter Here

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