The White House deployed Susan Rice to Capitol Hill late Thursday evening to help push President Joe Biden’s agenda through Congress.
Rice, who previously served former President Barack Obama as a national security advisor, now works for Biden as the director of the White House domestic policy council.
Rice joined Counselor to the President Steve Ricchetti, White House Legislative Affairs Director Louisa Terrell, and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese for meetings with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) as Biden tries to push $5 trillion in proposed domestic spending through Congress.
On Thursday, Manchin voiced his opposition to a domestic entitlement bill that costs over $1.5 trillion, angering progressives who want to see dramatic tax hikes to help pay for $3.5 trillion in spending for free universal pre-K, two years of free college, subsidized child and elder care, paid family leave, and more food stamp benefits.
Sinema has also signaled opposition to Biden’s big tax hike and spending bill, prompting the White House to try and find some kind of measure they will support.
Rice and the White House team left the meetings late Thursday night with no deal.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki touted success for Democrats, even as Congress failed to hold the scheduled vote.
“A great deal of progress has been made this week, and we are closer to an agreement than ever,” she wrote in a statement. “But we are not there yet, and so, we will need some additional time to finish the work, starting tomorrow morning first thing.”
The 96-member Congressional Progressive Caucus, led by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) has successfully stalled Biden’s infrastructure deal to demand movement on their agenda.
House leftists insist they will not vote to pass Biden’s $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill until they get the $3.5 social entitlement spending bill as well.
The White House is now working directly with Sinema and Manchin to find some kind of massive domestic tax and spending package they will support to satisfy leftists in the House.
Manchin drew a line with House leftists on Thursday, who continue holding the infrastructure bill hostage.
“I don’t fault anyone who believes that they’re much more progressive and much more liberal. God bless them!” he said, after making the case he had “never been a liberal. “I guess for them to get theirs, elect more liberals.”
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV): "I've never been a liberal in any way, shape, or form," so if progressives want a bigger reconciliation bill, "elect more liberals." pic.twitter.com/Xkf7NLRMtp
— The Recount (@therecount) September 30, 2021