Well, there is an increasing sense of urgency here at the White House tonight as President Biden seeks to unite the Democrats between these two major infrastructure laws, $ 1 trillion as a bipartisan bill, and then of course, $ 3.5 trillion bill that is currently by Democrats are supported even if not all Democrats are on the same side.
The president was supposed to be talking about vaccine mandates and companies that have passed vaccine mandates in Chicago today, but instead postponed that trip, signaling that he needed to be here to speak to lawmakers.
Just in the last hour he spoke to both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. And I was told at those meetings with MPs including Senator Sinema and Senator Manchin that the President really does two things.
He’s one who tells senators and lawmakers what my legacy is. Here is what my agenda is. Here’s what I want for the American people. The second thing he does is say what can I do to make you say yes? What can I do to get you on this plan so that these two big bills can be passed together?
Then come the White House staff. You were up on the hill today and met with Senator Sinema. And some of the White House staff include the White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, as well as top aides Steve Ricchetti, Brian Deese, and Louisa Terrell.
These are names that people may not be familiar with, but they really are the brain trust that is behind this effort to get the White House and all of its efforts to get lawmakers on the same page.
I was also told that Senator Sinema looks like a senator who is more likely to say yes, even though that $ 3.5 trillion package could shrink to $ 2.5 trillion or even $ 2 trillion.
I was also told that Senator Manchin is the hardest to sell here. And just at the last hour, Senator Manchin made a statement that did not sound like he was getting any closer to this law of reconciliation and supported it.
He said in part, spending trillions of dollars, in his words, is like – quote – “financial madness”. He also wrote that Democrats – quote – should not “tax the rich vengefully”.
This, of course, is in stark contrast to what the progressives are saying, so much centered here with the President.