President Joe Biden was due to meet with his fellow Democrats in Congress on Friday (October 1), as progressives and moderates in his party remained divided over two massive spending bills that account for much of his domestic agenda.
Democrats have struggled to coalesce around those two bills. Progressives have vowed to block a $1 trillion infrastructure bill without an agreement to advance a larger social spending and climate change bill. Moderates say that bill’s current $3.5 trillion price tag is too high.
“The negotiations and the deal-making always happens at the end,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.
After a two-hour party meeting, Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives did not appear to have a clear plan. Representative James Clyburn, the chamber’s No. 3 Democrat, said he had “no idea” whether there would be a vote.
But Representative Hakeem Jeffries, who is among Democratic leaders in the chamber, said he expected the House to vote on the infrastructure bill on Friday, one day later than planned. “I expect a vote today, and I expect that bill will pass today,” he said.
House Democrats are waiting for an “iron clad” agreement from the Senate as to what its members could agree to, he said.
(Production: Deborah Lutterbeck)