President Joe Biden on Saturday called out two Democrat Senate moderates, Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), for blocking his $3.5 trillion agenda and creating divisions with the more leftist factions of the party.
“We can bring the moderates and progressives together very easy if we had two more votes,” Biden told reporters Saturday. “Two. Two people.”
Biden’s comments shift the blame for his legislative failures to the senators, which suggests it will only fuel growing leftist protests against them.
Sinema was chased into a bathroom stall by Living United for Change in Arizona activists, who demanded amnesty for illegal immigrants and support for Biden’s Build Back Better plan.
🔴BREAKING: Blanca, an AZ immigrant youth confronts @SenatorSinema inside her classroom, where she teaches @ ASU. "in 2010 both my grandparents got deported bc of SB1070…my grandfather passed away 2 wks ago & I wasn't able to go to Mexico bc there is no pathway to citizenship." pic.twitter.com/JDZYY2fOD2
— LUCHA Arizona (@LUCHA_AZ) October 3, 2021
Leftist activists in kayaks also confronted Manchin at his houseboat last week in Washington, DC, for blocking Biden’s agenda:
Manchin engaged with the flotilla of progressive activists that has been staging sail-in protests outside his houseboat every afternoon this week: pic.twitter.com/NMm4vKErIl
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) October 1, 2021
Despite Biden’s attempt to pass both his $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill and his $3.5 trillion entitlement expansion bill, White House officials, such as chief of staff Ron Klain, were privately telling leftists behind the scenes to hold fast by demanding both bills pass in tandem.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) ultimately canceled a scheduled vote on the president’s infrastructure bill Friday after it was clear that empowered leftists would not support it.
Sinema, who led the process in successfully pushing the infrastructure bill through the Senate, criticized Democrat leaders in a statement calling the canceled vote “deeply disappointing.”
Over the course of this year, Democratic leaders have made conflicting promises that could not all be kept — and have, at times, pretended that the differences of opinion within our party did not existed, even when those disagreements were repeatedly made clear directly and publicly.
The canceled vote, she asserted, “further erodes” trust between Democrats and the Americans who supported them.
Biden plans to travel to Michigan on Tuesday to promote his twin legislative priorities, even though both of them have stalled in Congress.
But on Saturday, he said he was still in control of the process, telling reporters, “I think we can get them both done.”
“I know how legislation gets done,” he said. “There is no reason why both these bills couldn’t pass independently except that there are not the votes to do it that way. It’s a simple proposition.”