Well, Judy, as you said, the president really, really wanted this to be passed, at least one of these bills, the bipartisan infrastructure bill, he wanted it to be passed while he was in Europe. He wanted it to actually be passed when he landed in Europe.
That, of course, did not happen, even though House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was pushing lawmakers and saying let’s give the president a vote of confidence from Congress. When that did not happen, the White House continued to engage. I’m told by White House sources today that the president, as well as top White House aides, they’re going to continue to engage with lawmakers.
They’re really trying to make the case that this is exactly what lawmakers, including critical senators, Senator Manchin, Senator Sinema, this is a bill that they should be able to get behind. This is a bill that they say does not add to the deficit. They also — reports show that they’re adding things back that progressives wanted, including paid family leave, something that was very critical to people across this country, especially women of color, but also men as well who are going to be able to possibly be able to take care of someone, whether a sibling or a family member, if they need to be able to be on medical leave.
Another thing to note is that the president had a message today for Democrats as it relates to these bills. It was five words: “Get it on my desk.”
Those were the last words that he spoke at his press conference. That tells you that the president is urgently trying to get his party on the same page, though it’s anyone’s guess in terms of whether or not the president will be able to bring this together. Of course, Lisa smartly is saying it could be weeks, maybe a few days for the House vote.
But here at the White House, there’s really this feeling that the president is trying to continue to be the closer in chief. He has not been able to get there yet. But the White House is watching all of this very closely.