Biden Aide Sullivan Downplays Need for Deal Ahead of Summits
(Bloomberg) -- Joe Biden’s national security adviser said U.S. allies the president will meet at international summits this weekend are excited about his work toward legislative deals on climate and infrastructure, and the negotiations don’t have to be complete before he departs.
Foreign leaders “want to see the United States making these investments,” the adviser, Jake Sullivan, said in a briefing for reporters ahead of Biden’s attendance at the Group of 20 meeting in Rome and UN climate change conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
“They also recognize that the United States has a set of Democratic institutions, has a Congress, that this is a process, that it needs to be worked through,” he said.
Biden’s economic agenda -- a pair of bills that would dedicate trillions of dollars to public works, climate measures and social welfare programs while raising taxes on wealthier Americans -- is plodding through Congress as Democrats haggle over the details. Biden has spent the past several weeks in negotiations with progressives and centrist Democrats to reach a compromise, and has said himself he’d like to have a deal before he departs for Rome on Thursday.
“It’d be very, very positive to get it done before the trip,” Biden told reporters on Monday.
But Sullivan insisted the president’s credibility wouldn’t be hurt among foreign leaders if he shows up to the two summits without a deal. The U.S. is pressing other countries to raise their commitments to combat global warming by reducing emissions, but Biden is at risk of arriving at the Glasgow summit without policies in place for his own country to meet its pledges.
“Whether there’s a deal this week or the negotiations continue, there will be a lot of energy and enthusiasm for the effort the president is undertaking right now to make bold, far-reaching investments that will deliver on his commitments,” Sullivan said.
“I don’t think that world leaders will look at this as a binary issue -- is it done, is it not done,” he added. “They’ll say, is President Biden on track to deliver what he said he’d deliver. We believe one way or another he will be on track to do that.”
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