Biden meets with moderate Democrats to push $3.5 trillion spending bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – President Biden will host both progressives and moderates from his party at the White House Tuesday as he tries to broker a deal on what could become his signature legislation.

President Biden is trying to bridge the gaps between moderate and progressive Democrats and aiming to pass the cornerstone planks of his agenda by the end of the month.

The White House had hoped to pass a $3.5 trillion spending plan it calls the “Build Back Better” bill, a mix of spending on social programs and measures to fight climate change. But moderates, like West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, favor a much smaller bill

After battling publicly in the press, the two sides now appear to be trying to reach a compromise.

Progressives have threatened to scuttle a separate $1 trillion bipartisan bill to overhaul the nation’s aging roads and bridges if they don’t like what’s in the Build Back Better compromise. But they might concede that getting something is better than nothing.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) said, “Is it a different bill than the bill I want to pass? Yes. Are we going to get to some resolution? I believe so, but it may take a little bit of time.”

The Democrats have to go it alone, with Republicans steadfast against the bigger spending plan.

Senator John Kennedy (R-La.) said, “My Democratic friends look like a hog on ice right now. They can’t seem to work out their differences.”

Attempts to reach a deal continue Tuesday. President Biden will hit the road to sell the Build Back Better bill Wednesday. He’ll be in Scranton, Pennsylvania — his birthplace and a key battleground state.

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