Is there light at the end of the infrastructure tunnel?
According to The Hill, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) will work with Senate Majority Leader Schumer and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) “to reach a deal by week’s end” on the Democratic social spending package. Manchin “sound[ed] a more optimistic tone behind closed doors than he did when asked by reporters earlier in the week about meeting an Oct. 31 deadline for passing legislation.”
President Biden met with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and both centrist and progressive House Democrats on Tuesday, suggesting that he is stepping up his efforts to work out a deal that would allow passage of the long-delayed bipartisan infrastructure bill. Among those Biden met with was House Problem Solvers Caucus Co-chair Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), who urged Biden to get infrastructure done this month.
Today, I met with @POTUS to discuss the importance of passing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill this month, and continuing to work on a smartly-targeted, commonsense reconciliation package that’s good for NJ — and can get 51 votes in the Senate.
Read my full statement here: pic.twitter.com/qDGAWmggiS
— Rep Josh Gottheimer (@RepJoshG) October 19, 2021
Speaker Pelosi has set a Halloween deadline for passage, and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Tuesday that Democratic leaders were “committed” to that deadline. Biden reportedly told progressives Tuesday that he is now seeking a $2 trillion social spending package – down from his initial $3.5 trillion plan. And Punchbowl says Biden wants a vote on infrastructure by the end of October.
As No Labels National Co-chair Joe Lieberman writes in The Hill, “the new “tea party of the left” has undermined the bipartisan infrastructure reform bill that passed the Senate with 69 votes in August.” Last month, Biden took their side rather than following through on the promised September 27 vote. This time, he has a chance to get it done.