President Joe Biden’s agenda is currently stalled out in Congress amid disagreements between moderate and progressive Democrats on the total costs and priorities of two separate, but linked, bills; one dealing with infrastructure spending, and the other focused on climate and social programs spending.
The stalemate necessitated the president visiting Capitol Hill himself Friday to meet with House and Senate Democrats, but according to reporters, White House staffers intervened and ended the meeting before Biden could answer any questions from those lawmakers, Breitbart reported.
That interruption by Biden’s team only serves to further fuel the narrative espoused by former President Donald Trump and many of his supporters that President Biden isn’t actually the person in charge and calling the shots in his own administration.
Biden staff prevents questions
According to a tweet from Politico reporter Sarah Ferris, with regard to the president’s meeting with the Democratic caucus, “At the end of his remarks, BIDEN offered to take questions from members but his staff jumped in,” preventing him from actually answering of the questions he had solicited.
Fellow Politico reporter Heather Caygle — who has since deleted her Twitter account over an unrelated matter — had also posted several tweets and reported on Biden’s meeting with Democratic lawmakers.
Caygle’s reporting made clear that Biden remained wedded to the strategy of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to keep the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill linked to the $3.5 trillion social spending legislation, which Democrats are attempting to force through the Senate unilaterally by way of the budget reconciliation process that requires only a bare majority for passage.
That effort has been stymied by objections over the staggering cost from moderate Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).
That situation prompted Pelosi to cancel a scheduled vote on the bipartisan infrastructure deal over threats from House progressives to vote against it.
Pelosi, Biden speak out
Meanwhile, in a press release Friday following that meeting, Speaker Pelosi made no mention of the reports that White House staffers had prevented President Biden from answering any questions from their fellow Democrats.
Instead, she heralded the “hero’s welcome” Biden had received and how “warmly and enthusiastically” the reception of his overall agenda had been.
Pelosi noted, however, that more time was needed to continue negotiations on the so-called Build Back Better Act and how a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill would be held as soon as an agreement had been reached on the reconciliation effort.
As for Biden, he left Washington D.C. for Delaware on Saturday, again, albeit not before taking a shot at Sens. Manchin and Sinema as the reason for his stalled agenda, telling reporters, “We can bring the moderates and progressives together very easy if we had two more votes. Two. Two people.”