President Biden pleaded with Democratic lawmakers Thursday to vote for his bipartisan infrastructure bill and the Build Back Better social spending package – leaving both Republicans and Democrats frustrated.
“No one got everything they wanted, including me, but that’s what compromise is, that’s consensus, and that’s what I ran on. I’ve long said compromise and consensus are the only way to get big things done in a democracy, important things done for the country,” Biden said speaking from the White House.
“I know it’s hard. I know how deeply people feel about the things that they fight for. But this framework includes historic investments in our nation and in our people,” he added.
The president’s comments came just hours after he headed to the Hill to encourage House Democrats – frustrated by the trimmed back social package – to vote favorably for both bills.
But while the majority of House Republicans are expected to reject both the bipartisan infrastructure bill – dubbed “BIF” – and the spending packages as “socialist” agendas, the biggest hurdles facing the president’s cornerstone legislation are in his own party.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., pushed their colleagues Thursday to stand by the president as he prepares to head to Glasgow for a U.N. Climate Change Conference Sunday.
Some hard-left Democratic lawmakers in the House have said they will not vote in support of the infrastructure bill if a vote is forced today.
“If a vote on the BIF is held today, I’m a no,” Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., told reporters. “I feel a little bamboozled because this is not what I thought was coming today.”
Bush’s fellow “Squad” member, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, R-Mich., reportedly said, “Hell no on BIF” after she left a meeting with fellow Democrats.
Fox News confirmed Thursday that as Biden urged leftist Democrats to get on board with concessions made to the package to appease moderate Democrats like Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, leftist leaders like Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., have pushed House Democrats not to budge on their demands.
Some Democrats are refusing to vote on BIF unless a vote is also held in conjunction with the Build Back Better package.
While Biden’s infrastructure package is expected to receive some Senate GOP support, it will require the backing of all House Democrats to get it to the upper chamber for a vote.
Biden’s Build Back Better plan, however, is unlikely to make it past the threat of a filibuster in the Senate, and Democrats are expected to push it through Congress by way of reconciliation – a budgetary process that does not require bipartisan approval.
Chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., told reporters that there was not enough support to get BIF through the House on Thursday.
“Progressives won’t leave working families behind. We’ve been clear since the spring: the infrastructure bill and the Build Back Better Act pass together – and that hasn’t changed,” she said on Twitter.