President Joe Biden will take negotiations on his congressional agenda in his own hands on Tuesday when he meets with the warring wings of his party to push for consensus.
Biden has stepped up his involvement as the clock ticks toward the October 31 deadline for Congress to pass his infrastructure plan and his budget package of social programs.
She added that ‘we are at a point where we feel an urgency to move things forward, and the pickup of meetings is a reflection of that.’
The president will host separate meetings with Democratic moderates and members of the progressive wings of the party at the White House on Tuesday. That will include a sit-down with moderate Senator Kyrsten Sinema and follows his phone call with moderate Senator Joe Manchin on Monday evening.
President Joe Biden will take negotiations on his congressional agenda in his own hands
Biden will host several meetings at the White House on Tuesday, including one with Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona
Biden’s meetings with moderates and liberals
President Joe Biden will hold separate meetings at the White House on Tuesday with progressive and liberal members of his party.
Here’s who’s on the list:
Progressives Meeting (2 p.m.): Reps. Katherine Clark (Mass.), Pramila Jayapal (Wash.), Mark Pocan (Wis.), Ritchie Torres (N.Y.), Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) and Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.)
Moderates Meeting (4:30 p.m.): Reps. Josh Gottheimer (N.J.), Suzan DelBene (Wash.), Ami Bera (Calif.), Tom O’Halleran (D-Ariz.) and Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) and Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.)
Manchin has expressed doubt a deal can be reached at the end of the month. And, in the 50-50 Senate, Biden needs every Democratic vote to get his agenda passed.
‘There’s an awful lot that’s going on. I don’t know how that would happen,’ Manchin said Monday. ‘But once you get a meeting of the minds, if you ever come to an agreement, a meeting of the minds, you might be able to work something out.’
Additionally, Biden will travel to his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday to push for public support of his agenda. And he’ll take part in a town hall with CNN on Thursday night in Baltimore.
Biden also has traveled to Connecticut and Michigan to sell his plan. But he notably has avoided West Virginia and Arizona, whose Democratic senators he needs to get his agenda passed.
Psaki downplayed the importance of the stops.
‘We are in a national media environment,’ she said Monday, arguing that any public appearance can spread the White House message.
The White House meetings come as Democrats struggle to come to consensus on how to cut roughly in half Biden’s social programs from its $3.5 trillion price tag to a $1.5 trillion or $2 trillion bill that Sinema and Manchin can support.
The talks started on Monday, setting the stage for the week of negotiations. Biden spent much of the day behind closed doors, working the phones.
He met with Rep. Pramila Jayapal, the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus who is leading talks for the liberals, at the White House and will host her as part of his meetings with progressives on Tuesday.
Manchin also met with Jayapal on Monday.
The Democratic senator from West Virginia also met with progressive Senator Bernie Sanders on Monday after reports Manchin wanted certain climate provisions cut from the budget package led to clashes between the two men.
Manchin and Sanders ran into each other outside the Capitol building on Monday night and hugged it out for the cameras, patting each other on the back and mugging for a photo shoot.
‘Get a picture of us,’ Manchin told reporters. ‘We’re talking.’
‘We’re talking. We’re going to make some progress,’ Sanders said.
The two men got into their respective vehicles, which were parked next to one another.
‘Never give up, Bernie,’ Manchin told the Vermont senator.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus who is leading talks for the liberals, met with Biden at the White House on Monday and will be there again Tuesday
Warring Senators Joe Manchin and Bernie Sanders ran into each other outside the Capitol building on Monday night and hugged it out for the cameras
Manchin and Sinema want Biden’s ambitious $3.5 trillion package of social programs – paid for with a mix of tax cuts – lowered in size and scope.
Meanwhile, progressives, led by Jayapal, have said they will not support Biden’s infrastructure plan without a deal on the package of social programs, which contain a mix of programs involving education, health care and fighting climate change.
A series of events at the end of the month is driving the push to pass the president’s agenda: transportation funding runs out at the end of October, Biden needs to head to Rome for the G20 summit and Democrats need a win ahead of the Virginia governor’s election, where their candidate Terry McAuliffee is struggling.
The Nov. 2 gubernatorial election in Virginia is being seen a referendum on Biden. The result will be used to forecast Democrats’ chances of retraining control over Congress in next year’s midterm election.