Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi thinks Democrats can meet a goal to reach an agreement on President Joe Biden’s social services and climate change package by the end of the week.
Watch Pelosi’s remarks in the player above.
“We have a goal. We have a timetable. We have milestones, and we’ve met them all,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday. “It will pass soon,” she predicted.
In an abrupt change, the White House is floating new plans to pay for parts of President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion social services and climate change package, shelving a proposed big increase in corporate tax rates though also adding a new billionaires’ tax on the investment gains of the very richest Americans.
The reversal Wednesday came as Biden returned to his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, to highlight the middle class values he says are at the heart of the package that Democrats are racing to finish. Biden faces resistance from key holdouts, including Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., who has not been on board with her party’s plan to undo Trump-era tax breaks to help pay for it.
Negotiations between the White House and Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill are underway on what’s now a scaled-back package but would still be an unprecedented federal effort to expand social services for millions and confront the rising threat of climate change. It’s coupled with a separate $1 trillion bill to update roads and bridges.
Biden and his Democratic Party have given themselves a deadline to seal agreement after laboring to bridge his once-sweeping $3.5 trillion vision preferred by progressives with a more limited focus that can win over party centrists. He has no Democratic votes to spare for passage in the closely divided Congress, and leaders want agreement by week’s end.
Pelosi also commented on the planned vote on whether to hold Steve Bannon, a longtime ally and aide to former President Donald Trump, in contempt of Congress after he defied a subpoena from a committee investigating the violent Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.
Pelosi said Republicans should vote for the resolution to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress because it protects Congress’ authority as part of a system of checks and balances.