Bipartisan and intraparty squabbling over how President Joe Biden and the White House are approaching bipartisan infrastructure talks actually is a positive development, contends press secretary Jen Psaki.
“It’s always a sign that we’re making some progress if there’s criticism from all sides,” Psaki told ABC from the United Kingdom on Thursday. “We’re not delaying for a moment.”
In a separate interview with CBS, Psaki repeated that Biden and his team were “moving on a number of paths” to push an infrastructure package through Congress, where Democrats have slim majorities in both chambers. One of those paths is deploying the fast-track budgetary process known as reconciliation, which would negate the need for Republican support.
“He’s working with Republicans and Democrats. There’s a couple of negotiations happening in the House and Senate now. That’s progress. That’s an encouraging sign. And we’ll see where that goes,” she said.
She added: “We’re going to see what can come out of these negotiations, but we’re continuing to move through on a reconciliation path, so we have that option available as well.”
Liberal Democrats are growing increasingly wary of centrist Democratic and Republican opposition to Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal and the president’s other legislative priorities, such as voter access expansion and climate change mitigation measures.
“Pres. Biden & Senate Dems should take a step back and ask themselves if playing patty-cake w GOP Senators is really worth the dismantling of people’s voting rights, setting the planet on fire, allowing massive corporations and the wealthy to not pay their fair share of taxes,” New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Wednesday.
Pres. Biden & Senate Dems should take a step back and ask themselves if playing patty-cake w GOP Senators is really worth the dismantling of people’s voting rights, setting the planet on fire, allowing massive corporations and the wealthy to not pay their fair share of taxes, etc
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 9, 2021
Biden’s talks with West Virginia GOP Sen. Shelley Moore Capito collapsed this week after the White House, congressional Democrats, and Republicans reached an impasse on the size and scope of his plan, as well as how to pay for it.
Biden offered a $1.7 trillion counter last month after Capito put forward a $568 billion framework in April. She suggested a $928 billion compromise last month before indicating she could add another $50 billion last week. The president will now focus on discussions with a bipartisan group of 20 lawmakers spearheaded by Sens. Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, and Kyrsten Sinema, an Arizona Democrat.
Biden is in the U.K. on his first foreign trip, which includes visits to Brussels and Geneva. His eight-day schedule incorporates meetings with the G-7, NATO, and other European leaders, capped with a one-on-one summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Author : Naomi Lim