Biden is hoping for some luck with Republican senators over infrastructure negotiations, offering to bring his price tag on an infrastructure package down to $1 trillion but also ensuring it amounts to “new money” — not redirected from funding already approved by Congress as Senate Republicans have been demanding.
The back-and-forth with the GOP is time-intensive but worthwhile, Sen. Joe Manchin told CNN’s Manu Raju: “We’ve got to work together. That takes a lot of time and energy and patience.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell doesn’t sound so optimistic. “I don’t know if we’re going to reach an agreement or not,” the Kentucky Republican said Thursday.
Senate Democrats are increasingly gearing up for a fight over the voting rights package known as “S 1” and the filibuster-busting consensus within the party needed for it to pass the chamber with just 50 votes. Despite the mounting pressure from the party to bid farewell to the Senate’s 60-vote threshold, at least two key Democratic holdouts for the filibuster, Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, haven’t shown any sign of changing their minds.
Meanwhile, both the President and Vice President are gearing up for their respective high-profile first trips abroad. This weekend, VP Kamala Harris is headed to Guatemala and Mexico — all a part of her not exactly easy assignment leading diplomatic efforts to stem the flow of migration from Central America.
Next week, Biden heads across the pond, first to England for the G7 summit and a meeting with Queen Elizabeth — TBD whether the Queen enjoys Biden’s company more than his predecessor’s. Biden will later travel to Switzerland to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and has already indicated he will raise the issue of cyber attacks that are increasingly crippling American entities, both public and private.
The Point: Patience is a virtue in life, and, apparently, in bipartisan negotiations.