WASHINGTON — For President Joe Biden, there was no time left to waste in creating a sense of momentum for his domestic agenda. Biden raced this week to stitch together a $1.75 trillion revision of his "Build Back Better" plan, personally pressured House Democrats to vote for his $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and addressed the nation on the merits of both measures just hours before he departed for a trip overseas. The frenetic rush flowed from a confluence of deadlines. Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic nominee for governor in Virginia, urged the White House to deliver on the infrastructure bill before voters go to the polls Tuesday. And, perhaps most important, Biden didn't want to walk empty-handed into a major climate conference in Scotland that begins Sunday. He had plenty of justification to step on the gas. But for a band of recalcitrant House progressives, the acceleration amounted to a false urgency of now — an artificial deadline that prioritized political optics over substance. They vowed to vote down the infrastructure bill to ensure they could continue to negotiate on the Build Back Better framework that Biden struck with Senate moderates Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz. That threat forced House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to cancel a planned vote Thursday evening. "Pelosi called," one lawmaker said. "I said I'm a 'no' until [there's] a deal." Sen. Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawaii, told NBC News that she questions the credibility of self-imposed deadlines that Democrats keep setting for Biden's agenda, "considering that we don't meet those deadlines." But she highlighted their value at the same time. "I do acknowledge that when you set a deadline, it tends to focus people's minds on getting results," she said. "There's a sense of urgency." McAuliffe, who hails from the centrist wing of the party, doesn't have much time left. His campaign repeatedly asked the White House to speed up work on the infrastructure bill, according to one of his advisers. The perception of movement Thursday was helpful, the adviser added, but "if that could have happened two weeks ago, much better." For months, Democratic lawmakers pleaded with Biden and White House officials to get more engaged in negotiations on Capitol Hill and to begin the politically bloody work of triage on the "Build Back Bet . . . read the full article here.
Keywords: build, vote, agenda, europe, wanted, biden, work, balked, manchin, progressives, jetting, bill, infrastructure, better, action, house
DATE: July, Sunday, months, Tuesday, Thursday, last week, this week, the summer, two weeks ago
NORP: Democrats, Democratic
TIME: night, evening, morning, just hours
EVENT: the "Build Back Better
MONEY: $555 billion, $1.2 trillion, $1.5 trillion, $1.75 trillion
WORK_OF_ART: Build Back Better