After months of fierce political wrangling, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday she expected a vote this week on a massive social spending package and a cross-party infrastructure bill, adding: “We are almost there “
President Joe Biden was intent on passing two mega-measures – which Democrats consider crucial to his party’s political hopes in the midterm elections next year – before he left for a climate summit in Glasgow on October 31.
Asked on CNN’s “State of the Union” whether agreement on a spending package and a vote on infrastructure could happen in the coming week, Pelosi replied, “That’s the plan.”
And on the spending package in particular, which has divided progressive and moderate Democrats, she seemed particularly optimistic.
“I think we’re pretty much there now,” she said. “We’re almost there. It’s just the language of it.”
Pelosi’s remarks came as Biden was to meet at his home in Delaware with Joe Manchin, one of two Senate Democrats whose resistance to the president’s larger Build Back Better social program had proved a major stumbling block.
There was no immediate indication of how that meeting—which also included Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer—went.
But Biden himself expressed optimism in a televised town-hall Thursday, saying, “I think I’ll get a deal.”
‘I think we can get there’
Biden said his controversial Democratic Party was “down to four or five issues” but “I think we can get there.”
Democrats have a small majority in both houses of Congress. However, internal divisions are preventing passage of a $1.2 trillion infrastructure reform and historic social spending bill that Biden says will transform finance and fairness for ordinary Americans.
With increasing pressure on the party not to come empty-handed, Biden has ramped up efforts to strike a chord between more conservative members like Munchkin, whose West Virginia state voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump and the left-wing progressive wing.
The president originally pushed for $3.5 trillion to spend on a social support bill, including a range of benefits for students, families and the elderly, and efforts to address climate change – but the latest figure under consideration is nearly $2 trillion. .
Pelosi told CNN on Sunday that “we have 90 percent of the bill that has been agreed and written, we have yet to make some final decisions.
“It’s less than we anticipated to start with but it’s still bigger than anything we’ve ever done in terms of meeting the needs of American families.”
The Politico newsletter, citing multiple sources, said Democrats doubt a Biden-Manchin meeting on Sunday will lead to a comprehensive settlement, but believed progress is being made so fast that leaders in the House of Representatives have to deal with Senate infrastructure. be allowed to vote on the deal. As soon as Wednesday.
When asked about Manchin’s months-long resistance during town hall, Biden, a former senator himself, replied, “Who’s not a bad guy. I mean, he’s a friend. And he’s always at the end of the day.” comes in.”
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)