Biden seeks Democratic unity over domestic agenda
Fox News White House correspondent Jacqui Heinrich has more as Democrats work to extend infrastructure funding on ‘Special Report’
President Biden is planning a trip to Capitol Hill Thursday to meet with the Democratic caucus in an attempt to push for a vote on infrastructure legislation before departing on his trip to Europe.
Biden will make his way to Capitol Hill around 9 a.m. Thursday. The trip comes amid a feud within the Democratic Party over the infrastructure legislation, which the progressive wing of the party has continued to push back against until members can see bill language for the party’s massive social spending program.
President Joe Biden
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
The news comes as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., signaled optimism Wednesday that the two sides could come to an agreement, announcing in a letter to Democrats that she was asking the House Rules Committee to hold a hearing Thursday to “advance this spectacular agenda For The People.”
“As we have insisted, we are close to agreement on the priorities and the topline of the legislation, which can and must pass the House and Senate,” Pelosi said in the letter. “At the same time, we are facing a crucial deadline for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework to pass.”
But Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., one of the most progressive members of the party, pushed back against the idea that she could support the infrastructure legislation.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
“I don’t see how ethically I can vote to increase U.S. climate emissions,” Ocasio-Cortez said Wednesday, adding that a “framework” of Biden’s plan isn’t enough. “We have had a framework for six months. We need text.”
Unlike the social spending bill, the infrastructure legislation is completed and just awaiting a vote. But progressives within the party have said they want to vote on both pieces of legislation side-by-side, a move they hope will help ensure their priorities are included in the spending bill.
Moderate Democrats are hoping that Biden can push progressive colleagues to accept whatever framework is hammered out Thursday so that a vote can be held this week on the infrastructure bill, which would also give Biden a legislative victory as he arrives for the climate summit in Scotland.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
But according to some staffers on Capitol Hill, the two sides still aren’t close on an agreement.
“Not sure if she really thinks she can will this thing through, but the votes are not there,” a progressive aide said.
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