DC Media: Biden WH Lacks ‘Leverage’ in Spending Talks, Latest Ultimatum ‘Doesn’t Mean a Whole Lot’

President Joe Biden talks on the phone with Senator Rob Portman, D-Ohio, following the Senate vote to pass the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill,Tuesday, August 10, 2021, in the Oval Office Dining Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)
WH Photo / Adam Schultz

The White House on Thursday has reportedly pleaded with “moderates” and the far-left to urgently come to a compromise on the $3.5 trillion reconciliation standoff before the Biden-Harris administration call it quits.

Punchbowl News reported the Biden-Harris administration leaked their frustration to the media “as a warning shot to Democratic moderates and progressives on Capitol Hill bickering over the multi-trillion dollar legislation.”

The source told Punchbowl the White House is demanding a compromise on the reconciliation package so President Biden can sign the measure “ASAP.”

“It’s not like the White House has enormous leverage here,” Punchbowl notes about the demands to end the negotiations. “The White House saying they’re done doesn’t mean a whole lot.”

The note from the reported source reads as follows:

The White House feels that serious progress has been made and that members representing each viewpoint are operating in good faith, but that the time for negotiations is nearing an end because there is an urgency to pass both components of the President’s economic plans for the middle class and that now, because of the needs of families, is the time to be decisive and get down to brass tacks.

The White House wants to make clear that soon it will be time for negotiations to conclude so we can move forward with both plans. The President is ready to get this done – as is the country.

The White House’s urgency to end negotiations comes as Democrat leadership has stated the reconciliation package should be passed by an October 31 deadline.

But the far-left has demanded certain radical provisions be included within the package that Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) have opposed. Manchin opposes the topline number of $3.5 trillion during inflation and has countered with $1.5 trillion. Sinema reportedly opposes the massive tax hikes included in the package. It is unknown what counteroffer she has made.

The “moderate” senators’ opposition to Biden’s agenda has House Democrats in disarray. But Politico Playbook on Tuesday reported the far-left is apparently coalescing around House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) suggestion that fewer welfare programs would be funded for more time. It is unclear if the compromise is sufficient for Manchin and Sinema.

In total, President Biden’s proposed “human infrastructure” encompasses expensive welfare items such as child care, paid leave, health care, global warming, college tuition, subsidized housing, and Medicare expansion to offer dental, vision, and hearing benefits.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø

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