Some leader. Shows up wrapped in a white flag to rally the troops.
According to Politico:
President Joe Biden deflated the air of urgency around a bipartisan infrastructure vote and tamped down liberal dreams of a $3.5 trillion spending bill in a speech before House Democrats Friday that left some members fuming.
Biden discussed a price tag for his broader social spending bill of between $1.9 trillion and $2.3 trillion, far short of progressives’ push for $3.5 trillion — but one that he suggested Senate moderates could back. And he declared no infrastructure vote until a deal on that larger spending bill, dashing promises Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her leadership team had made to moderates.
The president told members during the meeting that the infrastructure bill “ain’t going to happen until we reach an agreement on the next piece of legislation.”
“Let’s try to figure out what we are for in reconciliation … and then we can move ahead,” Biden said, adding that even a bill smaller than $3.5 trillion “can make historic investments.”
Biden’s 40-minute speech in the caucus’s basement meeting room — in which he took no questions — only seemed to sow confusion and rile up frustrated Democrats as the prospects of a large deal remained out of reach.
Biden’s lack of urgency for an infrastructure vote on Friday made it all but certain that the House would not take it up that day, just hours after members declared they were prepared to spend their weekends in the Capitol. Instead, top Democrats decided to pass a 30-day patch for a highways funding program using a fast-track method for noncontroversial bills.