“Everyone is frustrated,” Biden says as his agenda stalls | WIVT
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden on Saturday acknowledged the frustrations as Democrats scramble to save a scaled-down version of his $ 3.5 trillion government overhaul plan and save a public works bill related after frantic negotiations failed to reach an agreement.
“Everyone’s frustrated, it’s part of government, to be frustrated,” Biden told reporters before leaving the White House for a weekend at his home in Wilmington, Delaware. He pledged to “work like hell” to pass the two pillars of his national program, but refrained from setting a new deadline.
On Friday, the president traveled to Capitol Hill for a private meeting with House Democrats, which partly boosted the morale of the disjointed caucus of lawmakers. According to lawmakers in the room, he discussed a price tag of $ 1.9 trillion to over $ 2 trillion for the biggest package that would expand the country’s social safety net.
The White House and its allies in Congress are ready for extended negotiations. Biden said he would travel across the country soon to promote the legislation and he acknowledged that discussions in Washington had become too focused on the billions of new spending and taxes in the bill.
He pledged to do more to educate the public about the plan’s new and expanded agendas, which he says have the support of the vast majority of the electorate.
“I will try to sell what I think the American people will buy,” Biden said on Saturday, adding, “I think when the American people are aware of what’s in it, we will.”
The president said he believed the legislation would be enacted with “plenty of time to change the tax code for people next year.”
It’s a pivotal time for Biden and the party. His approval ratings have plummeted and Democrats are restless, eager to keep his election promise to rebuild the country. His ideas go beyond road infrastructure and bridges to provide dental, vision and hearing care for the elderly, a free preschool, major efforts to fight climate change, and other investments that would affect countless American lives. .
Holdout’s Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia dashed hopes for a quick compromise on a framework when he refused to budge Thursday night on his demands for a smaller overall package, around $ 1.5 trillion.
Without a broader deal, prospects for a vote on the related public works bill have stalled, with progressives refusing to commit until senators reach a deal. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Told her colleagues “more time is needed” to shape the larger package.
The House passed a 30-day measure to keep transportation programs going during the standoff, essentially setting a new deadline for talks, October 31. The Senate was to follow with a vote Saturday, to end the holidays of more than 3,500 federal transporters. workers, a by-product of the political deadlock.
With Republicans staunchly opposed to Biden’s big picture, the President and Democrats alone are seeking a giant legislative achievement – all to be paid for by rewriting federal balance sheets with tax increases on corporations and the wealthy, those who earn over $ 400,000 per year.
The biggest of Biden’s proposals is a collection of Democratic priorities that have been in the works for years with an ultimate price, he says, of zero as tax revenue would cover the costs of spending.
“We will and must pass both bills soon,” Pelosi said in a letter to fellow Democrats on Saturday. “We have the responsibility and the opportunity to do it. People expect and want results.
The White House and Democrats are also focused on increasing the country’s borrowing limit before the United States risks defaulting on its obligations – a deadline, the Treasury Department estimates, will be reached at the end of the day. later October 18. The House has already acted, but Republican senators have indicated they will not provide votes for the bipartisan passage and want Democrats to go it alone.
“I hope Republicans aren’t irresponsible enough to refuse to raise the debt ceiling and obstruct the debt ceiling,” Biden said on Saturday. “It would be totally unacceptable. Never done before. And so I hope that doesn’t happen. ”