U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday pushed members of his own party to fund not just his infrastructure bill but also his broader $3.5 trillion spending package as talks over both intensified.
Biden met privately with lawmakers, including conservative Democratic Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, who have balked at the size of the spending packages.
Those meetings came as Congress wrestles over a $1 trillion roads, bridges and pipes bill that has drawn support from some Democrats and Republicans, as well as separate legislation making $3.5 trillion of investments in childcare, healthcare and housing.
Most Senate Republicans have lined up against Biden's spending agenda.
That has left the president and his allies on Capitol Hill with the task of convincing virtually all of his party's delegation to support him.
Some Democrats would prefer to support only the infrastructure measure, while others have said they would only support the infrastructure bill if the larger social spending bill is also passed.
Democratic leadership in both chambers privately tried to beat back concerns about whether they stand on sufficiently firm political footing to pass both bills, as well as a set of emergency measures to keep the government from shutting down and defaulting on its debt.
HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI: “Well, we have to, we have to lift the debt limit.”
Government funding is set to expire on Thursday. Its borrowing authority is due to run out on Oct. 18th.
Biden scrapped his planned trip to Chicago on Wednesday in order to continue leading crucial negotiations over his agenda.