Biden commends Pelosi for ‘masterful’ leadership
President Biden thanked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for her “masterful” leadership on Tuesday after House Democrats voted in lockstep to advance his economic agenda.
“We are a step closer to truly investing in the American people, positioning our economy for long-term growth and building an America that outcompetes the rest of the world,” Biden said in remarks from the Roosevelt Room. “My goal is to build an economy from the bottom up and middle out, not just the top down.”
Biden said he just got off a phone call with House leadership following the vote to adopt the $3.5 trillion budget blueprint. He thanked Pelosi and also offered praise for House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), who chairs the House Transportation Committee.
Biden also recognized Democrats who worked together to come to an agreement on advancing the massive package. Pelosi earlier Tuesday reached a deal with a group of moderates that was pushing for a vote on the Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill before moving to the larger package.
“There were differences, strong points of view. They’re always welcome,” Biden said. “What is important is that we came together to advance our agenda.”
The House on Tuesday afternoon voted in a strict party-line vote of 220-212 to adopt a rule allowing Democrats to immediately begin work on the $3.5 trillion package, which includes measures such as universal prekindergarten, free community college and an extension of the expanded child tax credit.
The rule also sets up a vote on the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package by Sept. 27.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters during a briefing Tuesday afternoon that Biden spoke with “a range of members,” including some from the group of moderates, as Democrats worked toward an agreement. Biden has endorsed Pelosi’s decision to hold a vote on the infrastructure bill, which passed the Senate earlier this month, until after Democrats completed work on the $3.5 trillion bill.
Biden said Tuesday that his economic plan will help America “win the future” and lower the economic burden on working families.
The House recessed on Tuesday and lawmakers will return to Washington next month to continue work on the legislation. There’s likely to be plenty of hurdles to come as Pelosi tries to keep progressives and moderates alike behind a strategy for passing Biden’s agenda.
Brett Samuels contributed reporting.