Joe Biden will travel to Capitol Hill Thursday morning to brief Democrats on his spending and infrastructure bills before making public remarks.
Democrats are struggling to reach consensus on the scope of a pair of bills aimed at rebuilding the country’s infrastructure, increasing social spending and tackling climate change. With the narrowest margins in Congress and a unified Republican opposition, they need an almost 100% deal in the caucus to get anything through.
The party had signaled that it would reach a deal this week, ahead of Biden’s trip to Europe later today, where he will travel to Rome, the Vatican, and then the United Nations climate conference, known as the name Cop26, in Glasgow, Scotland. But Bernie Sanders, the progressive senator from Vermont said there was “no way” a deal could be reached until Thursday after meeting Biden on Wednesday afternoon, according to Politico.
The attempt to push through what is supposed to be Biden’s historic package has already cost the original $ 3.5 billion program, which included critical policies regarding early childhood education, funding for mitigation climate change and other key elements of the Biden platform.
Senior Congressional Democrats disagreed on Wednesday over a proposal to tax billionaire assets to help fund the social agenda and climate change, unsure whether the idea had enough backing to become law.
Joe Manchin, the Democratic senator from West Virginia, continued to stand between the administration and its priorities, saying the billionaire tax had “the connotation that we are targeting different people.” Biden had also met with Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema, who blocked several progressive items from the agenda.
Several media outlets reported that Democrats on Wednesday dropped a provision that would have granted up to 12 weeks of paid family leave and brought the United States closer to its global peers.
The Biden administration is reportedly preparing a series of decrees and other actions to get climate policies in hand ahead of the Cop26 conference, which begins on October 31. But without adequate support and funding from Congress, these actions will fall short of what the original Build Back Better program promised.