President Joe Biden issued a statement Saturday fully reversing his tax and entitlement ultimatum on the bipartisan infrastructure deal.
“My comments also created the impression that I was issuing a veto threat on the very plan I had just agreed to, which was certainly not my intent,” an over 600-word statement released by the White House with Biden’s name on it read.
The president’s statement was a sharp reversal of what he said Thursday — that if he did not receive an additional tax and spend entitlement bill — passed with a slim majority using budget reconciliation, —he would not sign the deal he announced earlier with Senate moderate Republicans.
“We need physical infrastructure, but we also need the human infrastructure as well,” Biden said during his press conference on Thursday, adding that, “We’re going to have to do that through the budget process and we need a fair tax system to pay for it all.”
When reporters asked how he planned to get both measures through Congress at the same time, he appeared unshakeable.
“I control that. If they don’t come, I’m not signing it. Real simple,” Biden said.
The White House spent 48 hours trying to minimize Biden’s comments, but to no avail as Republicans openly challenged whether the president was actually interested in making a deal.
In his statement Saturday, Biden indicated his support for both bills but said he would sign and promote the bipartisan infrastructure deal if it made it to his desk.
“The bottom line is this: I gave my word to support the Infrastructure Plan, and that’s what I intend to do,” he said.