Dems pare Biden's agenda, still hopeful of passage

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: “This is not about me and Senator Manchin, this is about families in the Bronx.”

With the core of U.S. President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda hanging in the balance, Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday to tease out what’s still standing in Biden’s way: Friction between her progressive wing of the party and its moderate faction over Biden’s proposed $1 trillion infrastructure legislation and his multi-trillion-dollar social spending bill.

Biden told Democrats last week the latter, which is intended to bolster the social safety net and fight climate change, could be pared down from its original $3.5 trillion goal to $2 trillion, according to aides and lawmakers.

Moderates including Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin refuse to support the larger number. Manchin has said he could accept closer to $1.5 trillion, while Sinema has not committed publicly to a number.

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: “We do have to compromise, with the fact that we have Senator Manchin and Sinema, who refuse to support certain programs for working families.”

Ocasio-Cortez said one way to trim the social spending plan would be to fund some programs for a shorter time period than originally proposed.

The smaller infrastructure bill has passed in the Senate, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi canceled a vote in the House last week at the urging of progressives like AOC who want both bills to move in unison.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Sunday the goal is to get both passed in the next month.

And Biden, who visited Capitol Hill on Friday, said over the weekend he would "work like hell" to do so.

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: “I think President Biden has been a good faith partner to the entire Democratic party. He is in fact a moderate, and we disagree on certain issues, but he reaches out and he actually tries to understand our perspective.”

Biden will travel to Howell, Michigan, on Tuesday to rally support for his legislative agenda.

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