Biden pushes infrastructure, social spending during Michigan visit

Politics

(NewsNation Now) — President Biden visited Michigan on Tuesday to promote his infrastructure bill as well as his ambitious social spending plan.

“These bills are not about left versus right or moderate versus progressive or anything that pits Americans against one another,” Biden said. “These bills are about competitiveness versus complacency. They’re about leading the world or continuing to let the world pass us by.”

Biden spoke at a union training center in Howell. He said the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which aims to rebuild roads, bridges, and pipelines is “a blue-collar blueprint for how we restore America’s pride.”

Back in Washington, negotiations continue on a pair of bills to boost spending on safety net, health and environmental programs and infrastructure projects.

Last week, lawmakers grappled with the massive Democrats-only social spending bill that has been linked with the infrastructure bill.

No deal has been struck to bridge stark divides between moderates and progressives in the Democratic Party on the size and scope of the package. 

You can watch Biden’s full remarks in the video player above.

Progressives have balked at paring down the size of the $3.5 trillion social package and have refused to vote for the infrastructure bill if the other bill shrinks. Moderate Democrats, meanwhile, are pushing for the bipartisan infrastructure bill to get a House vote first and some are wary about the size of the far larger social spending bill.

That leaves Biden and his Democratic allies in Congress at a crossroads, trying to move past the tangle of legislation and remind voters what they are trying to accomplish.

Democratic legislators have warned that Biden’s bold ideas are getting lost in the party’s infighting and procedural skirmishes over the legislation.

“We must communicate to the country the transformative nature of the initiatives in the legislation,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a letter to lawmakers ahead of Biden’s trip.

Next up is Biden’s rescheduled trip to Chicago, which was postponed last week, where he had planned to promote coronavirus vaccine mandates and work in a pitch for his agenda.

Biden is expected to travel more in the coming days.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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