President Joe Biden flipped and flopped and twice reversed course in as many days with regard to a bipartisan deal out of the Senate on infrastructure spending.
Biden initially praised the bipartisan deal Thursday morning, only to say hours later that he wouldn’t sign it unless his other demands — namely, in the area of social reform and entitlements — were passed, as well.
Finally, on Saturday, the president issued a statement saying he’d sign the bipartisan deal regardless of what happened with the other aspects of his plan, Breitbart reported.
“No bipartisan bill”
Rumors of a bipartisan deal in the Senate on a more limited infrastructure package than one Democrats had been hoping for began to circulate Thursday. Pressed by reporters during her weekly press conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) made clear, however, that unless a separate bill full of additional spending is passed in the Senate, she has no intentions of bringing the narrow, newly negotiated deal up for a vote in the lower chamber.
“We will not take up a bill in the House until the Senate passes the bipartisan bill and a reconciliation bill,” Pelosi said, according to a transcript from her office.
Later, she doubled down. “There ain’t gonna be no bipartisan bill unless we are going to have the reconciliation bill,” Pelosi said.
Perhaps unaware of the firm stance she’d taken, Biden expressed great pleasure with the compromise reached by a bipartisan group of senators last week following a meeting at the White House. In a statement, the president suggested he understood GOP opposition to the social proposals, and would pursue them separately from the narrower infrastructure plan.
“The bottom line”
By the afternoon, Biden had apparently changed his tune. After he stressed that the bills needed to be passed “in tandem,” he made his stance clear to a reporter: “If they don’t come, I’m not signing. Real simple.”
Fast-forward to a White House statement released Saturday, and President Biden was back to praising the bipartisan compromise on strictly infrastructure spending.
“That statement understandably upset some Republicans, who do not see the two plans as linked,” he said of his prior remarks. “My comments also created the impression that I was issuing a veto threat on the very plan I had just agreed to, which was certainly not my intent,” he added, according to Breitbart.
“The bottom line is this: I gave my word to support the Infrastructure Plan, and that’s what I intend to do,” Biden continued. “I intend to pursue the passage of that plan, which Democrats and Republicans agreed to on Thursday, with vigor. It would be good for the economy, good for our country, good for our people. I fully stand behind it without reservation or hesitation.”
He concluded by discouraging both Democrats and Republicans from voting against the deal simply because they didn’t agree with the process before expressing confidence that the bills would “promptly” make their ways to his desk.