Biden worked phones to salvage infrastructure deal

In a long statement Biden released Saturday, he acknowledged that he had made mistakes and issued a complete reverse to his earlier comments. According to a White House official, the White House's strategy for the future is to highlight the benefits of infrastructure projects that would receive funding under the agreement. The president will travel to the areas where these projects will be funded as part of this strategy. Biden will travel to Wisconsin on Tuesday to give remarks about the plan. Wisconsin is a battleground state that the president won by less then a percentage point. Since Thursday, White House staffers and other administration personnel have been in touch to state and municipal officials, including local Republicans, to organize them and help bring about a consensus towards a bipartisan vote. Biden stated that he would not veto infrastructure bills if the other spending bill, the so-called Families Plan was passed in Congress. Biden angered Republicans, including negotiators, when he condensed the signing of the infrastructure package Thursday with a Democrat only plan. This plan is expected to contain a number of items that the GOP has long rejected. The White House made a formal statement Saturday to clarify his position. Some Republicans were upset by this statement. They don't see the plans as being linked and are trying to defeat my Families Plan. Biden stated in the statement that they do not want their support of the infrastructure plan to be interpreted as aiding the passage of the Families Plan. My comments gave the impression that I was threatening to veto the plan I just signed, which was not my intention. The statement continued, "So to be clear, our bipartisan agreement doesn't preclude Republicans trying to defeat my Families Plan; similarly, they should not have any objections to me dedicating my efforts to pass that Families Plan along with other proposals in tandem. We will let the American people and the Congress decide. On Friday, some Republicans said that they viewed Biden's comments as a deal breaker. Biden did not mention in negotiations an explicit tie between the deal and the Democrat deal. After other less obvious attempts to reduce backlash, the reversal was made. Top aides called the Hill on Friday to urge them to pass damage control. Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, tried to soften President Trump's comments on Friday by pointing out that it was up the Congressional leaders to decide the fate of legislation. Psaki then took to Twitter to highlight the positive aspects of the bipartisan package. While progressives applauded Biden's comments, moderate Democrats were just as frustrated by the remarks of the president, with many top Democrats privately saying that the president had just put at danger months of work. They claim that the fears are particularly acute because the details of the deal's language have yet to be written. His Saturday comments are not the only ones. Biden himself intervened to take on more damage control when other attempts failed. Two sources close to his efforts informed POLITICO that Steve Ricchetti (one of Biden's leading negotiators) told Republicans on Thursday that the White House would clarify his comments. Unofficial from the White House disputed the notion that Ricchetti had suggested that Biden might have misspoken an impression left by those two sources. Biden had completely abandoned these statements by Saturday and told Republicans they were entitled to defeat a Democrat-only spending bill that would have more money for families, climate, and other Biden priorities.


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