Certainly not my intent: Biden walks back tandem infrastructure bill remarks – POLITICO
The statement went on to say, “So to be clear: our bipartisan agreement does not preclude Republicans from attempting to defeat my Families Plan; likewise, they should have no objections to my devoted efforts to pass that Families Plan and other proposals in tandem. We will let the American people — and the Congress — decide.”
Some Republicans on Friday said they viewed Biden’s comments as a deal breaker, saying the president had not in negotiations mentioned an explicit tie between it and the Democratic package.
However, following Biden’s Saturday statement, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, one of the GOP’s principal negotiators, tweeted: “Washington has been talking about truly modernizing our infrastructure for decades. This week Republicans and Democrats agreed on an historic bipartisan framework and we should pass it because it is good for the economy and the country.”
The reversal comes after other, less overt attempts at allaying the backlash fell flat.
On Friday, top aides made calls to the Hill to enact damage control. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki also attempted to soften the president’s remarks on Friday, noting it was up to congressional leaders to control the fate of legislation.
But while progressives applauded Biden’s remarks, moderate Democrats were equally frustrated with the president’s remarks, with several top Democrats privately saying the president had just put months of work at risk.
The fears are especially acute, they say, because the actual language of the deal has not yet been written.
Beyond his Saturday comments, Biden on Tuesday will travel the country to highlight the economic benefits of the bipartisan package, according to a White House official.
That includes delivering remarks in the battleground state of Wisconsin, which Biden won by less than a percentage point.