Joe Biden promises to see through the spending Bills

Joe Biden speaks to the press as he departs the White House in Washington, DC, on October 2, 2021.   | Photo Credit: AFP

U.S. President Joe Biden vowed on Friday to get his sweeping domestic agenda over the line as he visited the U.S. Congress to energise Democrats negotiating for a second day on the twin make-or-break spending Bills that could define his legacy — or spell crippling political failure.

“I’m telling you, we’re going to get this done,” he told reporters after meeting with House Democrats who are deeply divided on a spending spree that Mr. Biden says would restore America’s battered middle class.

“It doesn’t matter when. It doesn't matter whether it’s in six minutes, six days or six weeks, we’re gonna get it done,” he said.

The unusual presidential visit follows weeks of trips by party leaders in the other direction to the White House as Mr. Biden tries to get the two ambitious spending plans passed into law.

One would funnel $1.2 trillion into repairing infrastructure and the other would allocate even more for education, child care, and promoting clean energy.

“These are his proposals. These are his bold ideas,” Mr. Biden’s press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.

“This is his plan that he's outlined: to not just rebuild our roads, our railways and bridges, and put millions of people back to work, but also to make child care, elder care, (pre-school schemes) more cost effective, to address the climate crisis. And he wants to make the case directly to members.”

Mr. Biden’s political legacy is at stake and so probably are the Democrats’ chances of keeping control of Congress in midterm elections next year.

However, on Thursday, a game of chicken between moderate Democrats and more leftwing members over the Bills ended in stalemate.

Their razor-thin majority in Congress means that even a few defections could prevent votes from succeeding.

The impasse on the Democratic side is rooted in political differences over how much the government should spend, but also on the sheer lack of trust between competing factions.

Ms. Psaki said the administration's outreach to congressional Democrats and their staff had included at least 300 phone calls or meetings since September 1.

During the 2020 campaign Mr. Biden repeatedly touted his dealmaking chops — established during his four decades as a senator — but he has made the journey up to Capitol Hill only rarely as President.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2021 6:37:18 PM |

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