In a closed-door meeting in Washington with Senate Democrats from Vermont, New York and New Hampshire, President Joe Biden tried to garner support for his massive infrastructure and economic investment goals.
President Biden and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer showed confidence Wednesday, the day after Democrats on the Senate Budget Committee agreed on a $3.5 trillion budget blueprint.
“We’re going to get this done,” the president told assembled journalists.
“We are getting this done,” Schumer echoed. “Thank you!”
The ten-year resolution is expected to address what the president has called ‘human infrastructure’ — areas like climate change, Medicare expansion and paid family and medical leave. Senate leaders say the plan is fully paid for. Exactly how isn’t clear yet, but if remarks from Schumer are any indication, tax increases for the richest Americans are likely on the table.
“The very wealthy — the people at the top who escape paying all or a lot of taxes — no, no no,” the Senate Majority Leader said. “They’re going to pay their fair share for the first time in a long time.”
In a rare move, the President visited Capitol Hill to drum up Democratic support for not only that spending plan, but also the $600 billion infrastructure bill lawmakers from both parties are working on.
New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen is one of those lawmakers. She wrote, in part:
“We’re still talking. We’re still negotiating. …Congress must seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver for the American people.”
According to the White House press office, Biden told the Democratic caucus he believes the American people have broad support for what these dual bills would do and that when working and middle-class families do well, everyone does well.
In an emailed statement, Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy commented:
“It was good to hear a President who put politics aside and who told progressives, moderates and conservatives that at this critical time he wants everyone to come together for the good of the country. It’s similar to his bringing Republican and Democratic governors together for advice, including our Republican Governor Phil Scott.”
Last week, Schumer wrote to the other 49 members of the Senate Democratic caucus that they should be prepared to work through the chamber’s usual August recess. It’s scheduled for August 7 to September 12.