US President Joe Biden rescinded his threat to refuse to sign a bipartisan $ 1 billion infrastructure deal unless it comes with a bigger and more comprehensive spending program, in a sharp turnaround in the White House just two days after reaching the historic cross. party agreement.
Biden’s abrupt change came after Republicans wavered at the President’s insistence on Thursday that the fate of the two laws be linked. The emerging rebellion was becoming a serious threat to the agreement reached just two days ago and celebrated by the White House as an important step towards the implementation of its economic program.
“At a press conference after the announcement of the bipartisan agreement, I indicated that I would refuse to sign the infrastructure bill if it was sent to me without my plan for families and other priorities, including clean energy, ”Biden said in a statement Saturday.
“This statement naturally upset some Republicans, who do not see the two plans as linked,” he added. “My comments also gave the impression that I was launching a veto threat on the very plan I had just agreed to, which was certainly not my intention.”
Biden’s decision to quell the fury highlights the delicate balance the President, White House staff, and Capitol Hill allies must make to push through the rest of his economic proposals, which are worth billions of dollars in new investments and are accompanied by increasing taxes for wealthy individuals and businesses.
Thursday’s comments also marked a significant misstep from a president who touted his more than 40 years of legislative experience in Washington as one of his key qualities.
A salute initial attempt to tie the enactment of the $ 1 billion infrastructure deal with the Republicans to the passage of a larger spending bill backed by Democrats alone – although a parliamentary process called “reconciliation” – applauded the progressives. They feared that the political momentum for their priorities would wane once the bipartisan agreement was reached.
But Republicans, including some who had indicated they would support the infrastructure package, do not want to be associated with Biden’s larger spending plans and his planned tax hikes.
“Disagree by extortion!” Lindsey Graham, the Republican senator from South Carolina, tweeted on Saturday. “It has never been suggested to me during these negotiations that President Biden is holding the bipartisan infrastructure proposal hostage unless a liberal reconciliation plan is also passed.”
Even though Biden – who is spending the weekend at the Camp David retreat in Maryland – said the two bills would not be twinned, he insisted he would “still work hard” to get them two be adopted.
“I ran a winning campaign for the president who promised to keep both. No one should be surprised that this is precisely what I do, ”he said.