Despite frenzied discussions, President Joe Biden voiced disappointment on Saturday as Democrats struggle to save a scaled-down version of his $3.5 trillion government-overhaul plan and a linked public works measure.
It’s part of being in government to be irritated, said Biden to reporters just before he left the White House for a weekend at his residence in Wilmington, Delaware. The two cornerstones of his domestic agenda, he said, will be “work like hell” but he didn’t give an updated timeline.
A Stalled Bill
After a secret meeting with House Democrats on Friday, the president returned to the White House on Saturday for a more public discussion with the caucus. According to parliamentarians present, he mentioned a broader package that would enhance the country’s social safety net costing between $1.9 trillion and $2 trillion or more.
Preparations are in place for a long-term bargaining process. Joe Biden promised to travel across the country to sell the measure, and he recognised concerns that the discourse in Washington had become too focused on the trillions in new spending and taxes.
New and enlarged initiatives, he said, are widely supported by the people, and he vowed to do more to educate them about them.
After saying on Saturday that he would try to sell the American people on his ideas, Joe Biden went on to say that he was confident they would be purchased.
A one-week budget package enacted by the House this week is needed to keep the federal government operating until this Friday, but the Senate has not yet passed it.
The bill’s passage in the Senate has been slowed by progressive independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, who want to add provisions to provide most Americans another stimulus payout of at least $1,200.
Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Va.), who took part in the bipartisan negotiations, said, “People are undoubtedly going to conclude government is broken.” There is a wave of voter dissatisfaction and rage spreading across the country.
“It’s high time we got off our lazy rears and did something.”