The White House admitted Wednesday that Senate Democrats lack the votes to pass the $3.5 trillion reconciliation “infrastructure” framework agreed upon Tuesday evening.
“If there were enough votes for each of these priorities there would be a vote and it would have happened,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said about the two track infrastructure proposals the Democrats are attempting to pass, one via filibuster- immune reconciliation and the other by a traditional vote.
Psaki added that Biden is:
…headed up to the hill because it’s the next natural step, ummm, and as I said, he [Biden] knows that as president you lay out out an agenda… [to] members of Congress [to] negotiate the details. And then it’s his role to continue to engage in selling both, both packages to members and the Senate and the public.
Psaki answered a follow-up question on the timing of the two track system by saying, “the President expects to sign both pieces of legislation into law. They’re on a dual tract, as he long said they would be on, and we’re going to leave it to the leaders in the Senate and House to determine the sequencing.”
The text of the Senate’s budget package has yet to be released but is planned to coincide with the bipartisan infrastructure two-pronged approach “to circumvent a GOP filibuster using budget reconciliation, the same move that Democrats used to pass the president’s $1.9 trillion pandemic aid package in March.”
The White House’s doubt about their own two proposals and system of reaching their goal comes as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) on Wednesday criticized the reconciliation package as expensive amid increasing inflation.
The $3.5 trillion represents a top line budget number that encompasses many items self-designated socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) likes, such as expanding medicare, global warming initiatives, and suburb displacement with low-income housing, subsidized housing, subsidized childcare, and subsidized racial equity and environmental justice.
Meanwhile, already in the House there are rumblings among both the far-left and more temperate Democrats concerned over the two track approach due to being either not radical enough or simply too radical.
Biden and the Democrat leadership know that losing just one vote in the Senate or a few in the House would destroy the spending proposals writen by self-designated socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).