WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — President Joe Biden is leaning on Democrats to reach an agreement on a large social spending package and put something on his desk by the end of the month.
The party had already set an Oct. 31 deadline for itself, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says a deal is near.
“We’re want to get it done this week,” Schumer, D-N.Y., said. “We have to come to an agreement. … Everyone is going to disappointed in certain things but everyone’s going to be glad about certain things.”
But moderates and progressives remain divided over the total price tag, with moderates balking at the initial proposal of $3.5 trillion, and key provisions regarding climate change and eligibility requirements for child tax credits.
Biden met separately with moderates and progressives at the White House Tuesday to try to push the package forward.
“We would like to see more of our priorities,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., who leads the Progressive Caucus, told reporters outside the White House after the meeting. “I think he (Biden) is with us that we need to invest in as many of those transformational areas as possible.”
“(The White House meetings are) just the president’s approach based on five decades in Washington about how to get into the nitty-gritty details,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. “All are part both of discussions with Congress and discussions of what the president can do independently.”
She said Biden is focused on finding effective climate solutions despite pushback from moderates like Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.
Republicans are homing moderates will reel in the spending. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he’s concerned a multitrillion-dollar package would cause inflation to surge.
“Over half of Americans think the government is doing too many things,” he told reporters.