President Joe Biden stands at a critical juncture with multiple aspects of his legislative agenda either stalled or in peril on Capitol Hill.
“We’re at this stalemate at the moment, and we’re going to have to get these two pieces of legislation passed,” Biden said Friday, referring to his infrastructure agenda. A government shutdown is a week away due to a lack of Republican support on raising the debt ceiling. “Since Democrats decided to go it alone they will not get Senate Republican’s help with raising the debt limit,” McConnell said Monday. With the prospect of a government shutdown now less than a week away, the president’s infrastructure agenda is also imperiled by a standoff within his own party.
John Podesta, an influential Democrat who served as chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, sent a memorandum to the office of every Democratic member of Congress on Tuesday, warning them to pare back the $3.5 trillion bill — or risk losing control of Congress. Podesta said he “wholeheartedly” supported that bill — and actually thought it should “do even more” — but that “the political reality is clear” and that Democrats “will not secure the full $3.5 trillion investment.”
“The President won the most votes of any candidate in American history running on his agenda, and he and his team are fighting for the whole of it every day with the backing of strong majorities of the American people on each issue,” said Andew Bates, White House deputy press secretary, in a statement to ABC News. He added that Biden is “undeterred by the obstruction of lobbyists for big-money interests or Republicans in Congress, and has always said that none of this would be easy.”
Bipartisan police reform negotiations broke down Wednesday without anything to show, nearly four months after the one-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd. a date that Biden had also once set as a never-materialized deadline to see plans for policing reform on his desk in the Oval Office.
Even with what Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., said were “significant strides” in negotiations, Booker called talks off for good one day after Democrats had made a final offer on the issue. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., said Wednesday that Democrats didn’t give Republicans additional time to consider outstanding points on the plan and instead “called and threw their hands up.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: FLIPBOARD
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