Joe Biden to Announce Framework in Last-Ditch Effort to Unite Caucus

President Joe Biden campaigns for Democratic candidate for governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe at a rally in Arlington, Va., October 26, 2021. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

President Biden will announce a revised framework for his administration’s reconciliation package on Capitol Hill Thursday after meeting privately with House Democrats, multiple outlets reported.

The move comes as House Democratic leadership attempts to schedule a vote on the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that failed to make it across the finish line in August. Biden’s trip to the Hill to announce the reconciliation framework is intended to reassure hesitant progressives who have refused to vote on the infrastructure bill until they’re confident reconciliation will pass.

However, Biden’s visit may not be enough to persuade hold outs such as House Progressive Caucus head Pramila Jayapal (D., Wash.) and fellow progressive Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.), who have said they will not vote in favor of the infrastructure bill based on a reconciliation framework alone and will instead need to see the final language, which is not yet available.

“The President will speak to the House Democratic Caucus this morning to provide an update about the Build Back Better agenda and the bipartisan infrastructure deal,” a White House official told CNN. “Before departing for his foreign trip, he will return to the White House and speak to the American people about the path forward for his economic agenda and the next steps to getting it done.”

Biden told Democrats last week that the reconciliation package could cost between $1.75 and $1.9 trillion. However, congressional Democrats still have not come to an agreement on the central components of the deal.

Several of Biden’s proposals for the reconciliation package may not be in the final deal due to opposition from Senators Kyrsten Sinema (D., Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.). At a CNN town hall last week, Biden said said an expansion of Medicare to include dental, vision, and hearing services was opposed by Manchin. Biden added that Sinema opposes tax hikes the administration initially sought in order to pay for the package.

The infrastructure bill’s passage would give Biden more leverage heading into an international climate summit in Scotland this week, where he could boast about the $500 billion the bill allocates toward addressing climate change. The bill’s passage would also give a boost to Democrat Terry McAuliffe ahead of Tuesday’s Virginia gubernatorial election.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.