Progressives are reeling after Democrats ditched paid family leave from their sweeping spending bill, CNN is reporting.
The move was seen as a concession to moderate Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.
Biden was set to speak Thursday morning to the House Democratic Caucus to press progressives to pass an infrastructure bill that has been held up as leverage on the spending package.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, questioned why Biden would address the Democrats’ caucus meeting if he cannot bring a solid framework for the spending plan that the Senate would adhere to.
"If there isn't a deal, which is what I am still hearing ... then I am not sure what the president is going to present to us," the Washington state lawmaker told CNN.
The exclusion of family leave prompted questions whether trimming down the bill would hurt the chances of progressive lawmakers voting for it. It also sparked questions about whether it would disappoint the Democrats’ base voters and independents.
The removal of family leave from the bill is just the latest salvo in the battle between progressives and Manchin and Sinema over the bill.
And the exclusion of family leave has left progressives angry with Manchin.
"People are p----d he wants to take out paid family leave," one senator told CNN.
Manchin meanwhile said, "To expand social programs when you have trust funds that aren't solvent — they're going insolvent. I can't explain that. It doesn't make sense to me."
But Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., noted, "The problem is with members here who, although they are very few in number and are a significant minority, think that they have a right to determine what the rest of the Congress should be doing,"
Biden wanted Democrats to finish talks and bring the social services and climate change bill "over the finish line" before he leaves Thursday for global summits overseas, The Associated Press noted.
But Democrats have not been able to close the deal among themselves, and Republican lawmakers generally oppose the package.
CNN noted that if progressives don’t eventually support the deal, it could inflict further damage on Biden’s "wobbling" presidency.
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