Today so far
Here’s where the day stands so far:
- Joe Biden unveiled his proposed framework for Democrats’ $1.75tn reconciliation package. The president’s proposal includes $400bn for establishing universal prekindergarten and expanding access to affordable childcare, as well as $555bn for initiatives aimed at combatting the climate crisis, among other provisions. Praising the framework in a White House speech, Biden said, “No one got everything they wanted, including me. But that’s what compromise is.”
- However, it remains unclear whether the framework can attract the support of the two Democratic holdouts in the Senate, Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin. Sinema acknowledged that Democrats “have made significant progress” in their negotiations, but neither she nor Manchin explicitly endorsed the framework. Biden will need all 50 Democratic senators on board to get the proposal passed.
- House speaker Nancy Pelosi wants to get the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed today, but progressives insist they must first see the text of the reconciliation package. House majority leader Steny Hoyer has alerted members that there may be a vote today on the infrastructure bill, but Congressional Progressive Caucus chair Pramila Jayapal has said she and her members remain opposed to passing the proposal until the reconciliation bill text is released.
The blog will have more coming up, so stay tuned.
House speaker Nancy Pelosi is hoping progressives will vote for the bipartisan infrastructure bill today, now that Joe Biden has released his framework for the reconciliation package.
But progressives say they want to see the text of the reconciliation bill before moving forward on the infrastructure proposal, and the bill text is unlikely to be finalized today.
Emerging from the Congressional Progressive Caucus’ meeting on Capitol Hill, Rashida Tlaib was asked whether she would support moving forward on the bipartisan infrastructure framework (BIF) today.
“Hell no on BIF,” Talib said, per the LA Times. (As a reminder, Pelosi can only afford to lose three votes and still pass the bill.)
Nolan D. McCaskill
“Hell no on BIF,” @RepRashida tells reporters as she leaves a meeting of progressives
October 28, 2021
I’m in the east room where Joe Biden was speaking from the presidential lectern with the vice-president, Kamala Harris, standing a short distance behind.
And if I turn my head, I can see where the first lady, Jill Biden, was sitting a short distance behind me. There were around 30 reporters here.
The US president is rolling the dice here before he flies off to Europe, gambling that a $1.75tn reconciliation framework will be the least worst option for Democrats to unite around. He’s insisting that the glass is half full: investments in the child tax credit, addressing the climate crisis as never before, and much more.
Biden ran for office touting his Senate pedigree and his ability to bring the party’s warring factions together. “No one got everything they wanted, including me, but that’s what compromise is,” he said. “Compromise and consensus is the only way to get things done in a democracy.”
It remains to be seen if enough Democrats will embrace that message. Let’s hope he’s more successful than his predecessor at the art of the deal.
at 12.54pm EDT
Joe Biden argued that the policies included in the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the framework of the reconciliation package represented the demands of the voters who put him in office.
“The agenda that’s in these bills is what 81 million Americans voted for,” Biden said. “Their voices deserve to be heard, not denied, or worse ignored.”
The president then concluded his prepared remarks without taking any questions from reporters about whether the reconciliation bill framework can pass the Senate.
“I’ll see you in Italy and in Scotland,” the president told reporters as he departed.
Biden is now off to Europe for a week to meet Pope Francis, attend the G20 summit in Rome and participate in the Cop26 climate change conference in Glasgow.
So far, Joe Biden has used his White House speech to reiterate the need to pass the reconciliation package and invest in childcare, healthcare and climate initiatives.
“Somewhere along the way, we stopped investing in ourselves,” Biden said. “We can’t be competitive in the 21st century global economy if we continue this slide.”
But the president has not offered any details on how he will get the bill passed, when the two Democratic holdouts in the Senate have still not indicated whether they will support the bill.
Joe Biden argued his framework for Democrats’ reconciliation package would ensure that the US is able to adequately compete in the global economy.
“This is about competitiveness versus complacency,” the president said at the White House. “It’s about leading the world or letting the world pass us by.”
But again, it remains unclear whether the centrist holdouts in the Senate, Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, will support the $1.75tn bill that Biden has outlined.
Biden touts ‘historic economic framework,’ despite concerns about path forward
Joe Biden is now delivering remarks at the White House on his framework for Democrats’ $1.75tn reconciliation package.
The president celebrated the “historic economic framework” that he released this morning, after months of negotiations with Democratic lawmakers.
“No one got everything they wanted, including me,” Biden said. “But that’s what compromise is.”
However, even as Biden appeared to be taking a bit of a victory lap, it remains unclear whether the framework can attract the support of all 50 Democratic senators.
House speaker Nancy Pelosi has now joined the Congressional Progressive Caucus’ meeting to discuss Joe Biden’s framework for the reconciliation package.
Speaker Pelosi just walked into the Progressive Caucus’ meeting pic.twitter.com/QNwO490fV0
October 28, 2021
Pelosi is urging progressives to support the bipartisan infrastructure bill today, but CPC chair Pramila Jayapal has already indicated her members want to see the text of the reconciliation package before doing so.
And Biden is set to deliver remarks on the framework at any moment. Stay tuned.
Sinema issues supportive but vague statement on reconciliation framework
Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema has issued a supportive statement on Joe Biden’s reconciliation bill framework, but the centrist holdout does not explicitly say she would vote in favor of the proposal.
“After months of productive, good-faith negotiations with President Biden and the White House, we have made significant progress on the proposed budget reconciliation package,” the Arizona senator said.
“I look forward to getting this done, expanding economic opportunities and helping everyday families get ahead.”
The other centrist holdout in the Senate, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, also declined to explicitly endorse Biden’s framework, per Politico.
Manchin when asked if he supports framework : “this is all in the hands of the house right now, I’ve worked in good faith and i look forward to continuing to work in good faith and that is all i have to say today “
October 28, 2021
The reconciliation bill is far smaller than Joe Biden initially envisioned, and it remains unclear if progressives will support the plan.
Leaving the meeting, congressional progressive caucus chair Pramila Jayapal said she wanted to see the legislative text before committing to the bill.
After Biden spoke, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told her caucus to prepare to vote on a smaller infrastructure bill on Thursday. Progressives have been withholding their support for the bill as a way to maintain leverage over Biden’s larger spending plan.
“When the president gets off that plane we want him to have a vote of confidence from this Congress,” she told her factious caucus, adding: ”In order for us to have success, we must succeed today.”