Biden to Meet Democrats on Capitol Hill Right Before Europe Trip
(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden will go to Capitol Hill on Thursday, hours before he departs for summits in Europe, to brief House Democrats on his economic agenda as a congressional deal to approve it remains elusive, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Biden wanted to have an agreement, or at least a framework of one, on his broad spending plan when he arrived for a gathering of the Group of 20 leaders in Rome, followed by the United Nations climate summit in Scotland.
According to the president’s schedule, he will “deliver remarks” at the White House late Thursday morning before leaving for Italy. The Capitol visit was not on the schedule.
On Wednesday, Democrats in the House and Senate were unable to reach agreement to resolve disputes over how to pay for the massive spending bill. A separate infrastructure measure has already been passed by the Senate, but House progressives have demanded that the spending package be enacted first.
As the disagreements over various tax plans continued, Democrats seemed set to jettison paid family leave from the proposal. Providing workers with as much as 12 weeks of family leave was a key component of Biden’s plan and one that among the central goals of progressive Democrats. But it was opposed by Senator Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, whose vote in the evenly divided Senate is essential to passage.
Biden’s struggle to deliver on his legislative agenda has prompted doubt that the U.S. can lead the world in fighting climate change, the post-pandemic economic recovery or other priorities. Initial optimism that he would undo former President Donald Trump’s go-it-alone approach has faded after a calamitous Afghanistan withdrawal and a nuclear submarine deal with the U.K. and Australia that angered France.
Biden plans to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron in Rome on Friday, the White House said.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.