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joe biden

President Joe Biden speaks about prescription drug prices and his “Build Back Better” agenda from the East Room of the White House, Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021, in Washington. Associated Press/Evan Vucci

  • Biden pushed House Democrats to approve his spending packages as moderates threatened the plans.

  • The infrastructure and social-spending plans are under threat as centrists demand to review their impact.

  • Pelosi can only afford to lose three votes. If she fails, it will be the third time Democrats can’t pass Biden’s plans.

President Joe Biden has had enough of Democrats’ infighting.

After weeks of negotiations and ideological sparring within the party, the president’s desire to pass his spending packages has reached a crescendo. Biden urged the House to approve his infrastructure and social-spending packages on Friday and send them to the Senate.

“I’m asking every House member, member of the House of Representatives, to vote yes on both these bills, right now,” Biden said at a news conference from the White House. “Let’s show the world America’s democracy can deliver.”

It was a direct appeal from Biden for Democrats to pass two key pieces of his economic agenda after several months of delay. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is trying to set up back-to-back votes Friday on both the $550 billion infrastructure bill and the $1.75 trillion safety net and climate legislation.

Yet at least four House moderates are demanding to review a score from the Congressional Budget Office assessing the economic impact of the social legislation before casting their votes. They include Reps. Stephanie Murphy of Florida, Ed Case of Hawaii, Jared Golden of Maine, and Kurt Schrader of Oregon.

Pelosi can only afford three defections for the legislation to pass a narrow Democratic majority, affording her little room to maneuver. Republicans are expected to unanimously oppose the social spending bill.

“We’re working on it,” Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, a key centrist, told reporters on the prospect of a vote as he power-walked into Pelosi’s office. House Democratic leaders spent much of Tuesday morning whipping the votes.

Momentum is on the president’s side. The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Friday that the US added 531,000 jobs in October. That beat the average forecast of a 450,000-payroll increase and marked the strongest one-month gain since July. The report also revised job growth higher in August and September, making the Delta wave seem less economically disastrous than it initially appeared.

The report gives Democrats a much-needed spate of good news, yet they want to lock down additional wins in the wake of their electoral wipeout in Virginia on Tuesday. Most House Democrats are anxious to pass the twin bills after two failed attempts to pass the infrastructure legislation, most recently in late September. Progressives dropped their resistance to pass the social bill without the Senate acting first.

“I think the whole country is waiting for us to vote. We’re exhausting everyone,” Rep. Anna Eshoo of California said, referring to the centrist holdouts as “troublemakers.”

“The speaker will make the determination when she wants to strike,” Eshoo told Insider. “She’s in striking distance and we’ll get it done. We have to get it done.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

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