White House adviser to MSNBC host: Biden deal 'wasn't a photo op'

White House adviser to MSNBC host: Biden deal 'wasn't a photo op'
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A top White House economic adviser on Friday disputed the suggestion that President BidenJoe BidenCapitol fencing starts coming down after 'Justice for J6' rally Senate parliamentarian nixes Democrats' immigration plan Biden pushes back at Democrats on taxes MORE's declaration of a deal on infrastructure alongside a bipartisan group of senators was merely a photo opportunity, after the deal received early pushback from some progressive Democrats.

"There’s no question that those kinds of political machinations are very much lurking in the background, but I would never call what happened yesterday a photo op," Jared BernsteinJared BernsteinMore than 7 million Americans to lose jobless benefits on Labor Day Job openings hit 10.1 million in third straight record-breaking month Deficit Ponzi schemes meet cold fusion MORE, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said on MSNBC.

"I would call it the result of detailed negotiations where both sides came to the table on behalf of the American people. There were some compromises, of course. That’s how politics works," Bernstein continued.


"That’s not a photo op ... that’s democracy in action," he added.

Bernstein was responding to anchor Stephanie Ruhle, who suggested it was a photo op for Biden to come outside the West Wing on Thursday alongside the senators and announce they had a deal, noting progressives like Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersManchin suggests pausing talks on .5 trillion package until 2022: report Yarmuth and Clyburn suggest .5T package may be slimmed Sanders calls deadly Afghan drone strike 'unacceptable' MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenThe Trojan Horse of protectionism Federal Reserve officials' stock trading sparks ethics review Manchin keeps Washington guessing on what he wants MORE (D-Mass.) had consistently been pushing for a bigger infrastructure package. 

"The road ahead remains one that is filled with all kinds of politics, and this president has shown he’s capable of navigating those choppy channels," Bernstein said when asked about the political dynamics to get the deal passed.

In a rare move for a president, Biden himself joined lawmakers outside the White House to tell reporters news of the agreement for an infrastructure deal totaling $1.2 trillion over eight years.

“I think it’s really important, we’ve all agreed that none of us got all that we wanted. I clearly didn’t get all I wanted. They gave more than I think maybe they were inclined to give in the first place,” he said.

Several progressive senators signaled after the deal was announced that they would not support it unless they could secure commitments on passing a separate Democratic-only bill.

In a nod to the reluctance among some progressives to support the deal, Biden told reporters later Thursday that he would not sign the bipartisan infrastructure bill unless a reconciliation bill also makes it to his desk that contains trillions of dollars in spending on other administration priorities in areas such as health care, education and family care.