New York: It’s a pivotal week for President Biden’s domestic agenda in Congress with two crucial pieces of legislation at stake: a $1 trillion infrastructure bill and a huge $3.5 trillion social safety net bill.
Both the infrastructure and social policy bills are major priorities for Biden, who has staked his presidency on enactment of transformational social policy. But he has faced a series of hurdles, including the threat of a government shutdown as of midnight Thursday that was finally averted when Congress passed a measure to fund the government though December.
Now, all eyes are on the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which was set to come up for a vote late Thursday. Party leaders insisted it was on track.
Roadblocks: Democrats hold a razor-thin majority in both the House and the Senate, but the Democratic Party has deeply been divided over Biden’s agenda.
A key centrist Democrat senator, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, said that he could not support a social safety net bill of more than $1.5 trillion, highlighting differences within the party’s factions. “I think there’s many ways to get to where they want to — just not everything at one time,” he said of those who support the $3.5 trillion package.