An Endless Headache – Biden’s Budget

Liberal leaders’ attempts to pump energy into the tumultuous talks over President Joe Biden’s public spending commitments have so far failed to sway key Capitol Hill figures.

Pelosi is Making No Headway

As Congress approaches a pivotal week that might make or break Biden’s program, moderates and progressives have remained steadfast in their beliefs. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is just days away from voting on a $550 billion infrastructure measure with no clear path to approval.

Centrists are insisting that Pelosi hold the vote as planned, while progressives are calling for a postponement. Progressives are also threatening to veto the bill if discussions on a far larger, party-line social expenditure plan aren’t completed.

“You are seeing full-fledged democracy. Everyone wants to be perceived and recognized,” said Democrat Rep. Lou Correa who was confident in Pelosi’ ability to do so. “Nancy’s a wizard,” Correa claimed.

Pelosi and her staff are hoping that by portraying movement in the talks — including a “framework” of funding sources released Thursday (and preparations for the House Finance Committee to read the still-unfinished bill this weekend) — progressives will back off their warnings.

Pelosi told journalists on Thursday, “We tackle it one week at a time. I am optimistic that both bills will pass.” However, the executives’ activities only worked to further perplex many lawmakers, prompting inquiries about who approved what, and how much.

Other Democrats are Confused About What the Plan is

Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin said of the alleged structure, “We have no idea what they’re talking about. It seems as if they’re all focusing on something to bring to us after yesterday’s discussions. I’ve never seen it.”

“It is unclear what he is alluding to,” an aide to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema said. Sinema is another essential player in any final agreement. Moderate Democrats haven’t seen anything and haven’t given approval.

After no obvious progress during the government’s half-day session with key legislators on Wednesday, Pelosi (as well as Schumer’s efforts) highlights the feeling of panic among Biden and his Hill supporters.

They are desperate to show some evidence of life in the feverish work to revive his legislative plan. Even with the vote coming up next week, the liberals’ way forward remains hazy at best. Centrists and progressives remain mired in a televised spat over Biden’s two budget objectives.

Pelosi and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said earlier in the day, they agreed to “a blueprint” of alternatives to pay for their welfare spending objectives with the White House. This came in an effort to show progress in the stalled talks.

“I believe having a structure would give people more faith in what we are really going on doing,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. “One of the current issues is that people are unsure of what is happening.”

House Budget Chairman of the committee, John Yarmuth, later confirmed Democrats’ plans to vote on the bill on Saturday. He conceded it would be “more administrative than substantive” because the bill isn’t even finalized.