Democrats are on the verge of a make-or-break moment – one that will determine the fate of Joe Biden’s ambitious economic agenda – as they rush to bridge the internal divisions threatening to derail passage of the sweeping social policy package and a smaller infrastructure bill.
Failure would be disastrous for the president and his party’s political prospects next year, but success was far from certain with less than 48 hours left before a consequential vote in the House on Thursday.
In a sign of the stakes, Biden canceled a scheduled trip to Illinois to remain in Washington and “continue working on advancing these two pieces of legislation”, according to a White House official.
“This is a big week for the American people. It’s a big week for President Biden. It’s a big week for House and Senate Democrats,” the New York congressman Hakeem Jeffries, a member of House leadership, told reporters.
“We’re not running away from that. We’re leaning into it. We embrace it. We understand that we’ve been given the opportunity to govern for the people, to build back better, that’s exactly what we are committed to doing.”