President Biden is entering the most shaky week of his legislative agenda explicitly set to miss one deadline and tacitly know he will soon have to succumb to one Republican blockade on another.
Hectic talks over the weekend unleashed rhetorical pressure within the party, but left Democrats miles away from a clear path forward with their overall $4 trillion dual agenda, according to several people directly involved.
Every part of Biden’s agenda is on the line this week.
The Senate’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill is now expected to be voted on Thursday. The political gaps in the Democrats’ multi-trillion-dollar social safety net are significant, even as Democratic leaders say they plan to bring them to the floor this week for consideration.
Republicans are intent on blocking Democrats’ efforts to get them to help raise the debt ceiling on Monday night.
It’s a mess, but these three elements – despite self-imposed deadlines, promises from leaders and the wishes of the various wings of the Democratic Party – should not be dealt with this week.
The government funding bill does. And if we get to the end of the week without a decision on this issue, the federal government will shut down.
Biden, on his return from Camp David, hit the same spot with House Democrats – that’s going to take some time.
“I’m optimistic about this week,” Biden told reporters. “I think it’s going to take the better part of the week.”
Biden has been on the phone with lawmakers throughout the weekend, and his chief legislative negotiators Steve Richetti and Louisa Terrell and National Economic Council Director Brian Dacy have been working in one form or another for the past several days and nights, according to two people familiar with the matter. .
Overall, White House officials were concerned about the path forward even though there was still, in the words of one official, “a very frank confidence that history shows that if the spokesperson is involved, he’ll go our way.”
Yet no one has a clear sense of the exact path forward on a pair of bills that shape not only Biden’s domestic agenda but also the central tenet of his presidency: that demonstrating the government’s ability to act will be key to quelling anti-Washington hatred. Enthusiasm is sweeping the country.
These are the real bets here for Biden. It’s not a whip count, or a specific political dispute. He has made it clear, over and over again, that he is much, much bigger than that in his opinion. In the prediction game for this banknote, Biden did not hedge. And now everything is at stake.
Read more about the situation of things Here.