Biden to Democrats: Come together
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Today’s Big Deal: President Biden stops by Capitol Hill to remind Democrats what is at stake—specifically, his economic agenda. We’ll also look at how consumers and prices responded to another month of the delta variant.
But first, a jet suit update.
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Let’s get to it.
Biden leaves caucus meeting saying 'it doesn't matter' when bill is passed
President Biden on Friday told reporters there was no rush to pass his economic agenda after meeting with the House Democratic caucus amid tensions over how to proceed on a Senate-passed infrastructure bill and a larger reconciliation package.
"We’re gonna get this done," Biden said as he departed the caucus meeting.
"It doesn’t matter when. It doesn’t matter whether it’s six minutes, six days or six weeks. We’re gonna get it done," he added.
The background: Biden spoke to congressional Democrats for roughly 30 minutes. It was his first time traveling to Capitol Hill to push for his agenda since July, when he met with Senate Democrats.
- The president's personal involvement came amid calls for him to do more to facilitate the passage of a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and a larger reconciliation package that contains funding for Democratic priorities like health care, climate policy, education and family care.
- Biden had devoted much of his time earlier in the week to seeking out an agreement with Sens. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinPharma lobby eyes parliamentarian Demand for US workers reaches historic high Senate votes to nix Biden's vaccine mandate for businesses MORE (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaPharma lobby eyes parliamentarian Manchin quietly discusses Senate rules changes with Republicans Manchin warns about inflation as Democrats pursue Biden spending bill MORE (D-Ariz.) on the contours of a reconciliation bill while top White House aides met with House lawmakers and their staff.
What Biden said: White House officials insisted Biden's trip to the Hill on Friday was not meant to outline the path forward, but merely to speak directly to members and rally support for his agenda.
- Biden did not exhort his fellow Democrats to adhere to a specific timeline on passing the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill or the broader package to expand social safety programs during the roughly 40-minute meeting in the Capitol basement.
- Instead, the president focused on urging them to come together as centrists and progressives have remained at odds whether to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill as soon as Friday or wait until they secure commitments on the social spending package from two key holdouts in the Senate.
The big compromise: Biden lowered expectations for a vote Friday on the bipartisan infrastructure bill despite a push from centrists, but he also indicated that progressives should be ready to accept a smaller social spending package than the initially expected $3.5 trillion, to possibly a size more like $2 trillion, lawmakers said.
Read more on the infrastructure push:
- Biden visits Capitol with agenda in the balance
- Sinema in Arizona as Democrats try to get spending-infrastructure deal
- Ocasio-Cortez says framework deal not enough for infrastructure vote
- Progressive Caucus chair wants Senate to vote on reconciliation before House votes on infrastructure
- Schumer feels heat to get Manchin and Sinema on board
LEADING THE DAY
Consumer spending rose as inflation held firm in August
Inflation held firm in August as consumer spending rebounded sharply from a July decline, according to data released Friday by the Commerce Department.
- The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index, the Federal Reserve's preferred gauge of consumer price growth, rose 0.4 percent in August and 0.3 percent without food and energy prices, the same rates as in July.
- Annual inflation ticked higher in August, rising 0.1 percent from July to 4.3 percent, while annual inflation without food or energy prices stayed even at 3.6 percent.
- Consumer spending, however, snapped back strongly from a 0.1 percent decline in July, rising 0.8 percent in August and 0.4 percent when adjusted for inflation.
I’ll break it down here.
On tap next week:
- U.S. Trade Representative Katherine TaiKatherine TaiBiden trade strategy must unlock new access for US dairy With trade meeting on hold, the US needs to get serious about WTO reform The WTO Ministerial is a chance to advance global commerce for good MORE delivers a speech on the Biden administration’s approach to U.S. - China trade relations at 10 a.m.
- The Senate Banking Committee votes on a slate of Treasury and HUD nominees before holding a hearing on the economic future of Afghanistan under the Taliban at 9:45 a.m.
- Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary GenslerGary GenslerShould stablecoins be regulated like banks, exchange-traded funds, or both? Regulators investigating financing of Trump's new media company Warren calls for investigation into planned Trump SPAC deal MORE testifies before the House Financial Services Committee at 12 p.m.
- The Brookings Institution holds a webinar entitled “The Debt Limit: What If…” at 2 p.m.
- The Joint Economic Committee holds a hearing on President Biden’s tax proposals at 2:30 p.m.
- The Senate Banking Committee holds a nomination hearing for several Commerce Department and HUD nominees at 10 a.m.
That’s it for today. Thanks for reading and check out The Hill’s Finance page for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you next week.