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Don't 'Embarrass' Biden: Pelosi Claims Dems 'Within Range' on Budget

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

After President Biden made his second visit in as many months to the Capitol on Thursday in his latest attempt to move his legislative agenda closer to the finish line, Speaker Pelosi tried her best to convince reporters that Democrats are not in disarray after telling her caucus earlier to pass the bills in order to avoid embarrassing Biden.

Speaking to reporters in her weekly press conference, Pelosi touted the framework for Democrats' budget saying that any program in the agreed-to framework would be "historic" on its own but that taken as a whole the plan is "transformative" and on the same level as FDR's agenda. Of course, the New Deal actually passed and became law, an ending that's not certain for Biden's budget. 

"The text is there" she said even though the text that was released is not the bill's final language, adding that now Democrats can "complain about" what is and isn't in it. "I have respect for all of our members" Pelosi said, claiming to "welcome" changes but insisting Democrats are "very much on a path" to passage with "agreement on most" of the items in the framework. "We are within range," she said perhaps overemphasizing her wishful thinking.  

Again trying to dispel the narrative that the Democrats are in disarray, Pelosi claimed her party is a "big tent," when it's more of a three-ring circus to observers. "This is professional," she insisted before restating her calls to pass the bill "in a timely fashion" and "in a responsible way," whatever that means. 

Appealing to party loyalty that hasn't been on display in recent months, Pelosi also tried to make supporting the bill synonymous with supporting President Biden. "I trust the President of the United States," she said twice before reiterating that this is Biden's bill, written by the president based on his "encyclopedic knowledge."

When questions were shouted about a vote on infrastructure, the other key piece of Biden's legislative agenda, Pelosi ended the press conference and walked away... before returning because she'd forgotten her mask.

The math Pelosi's working with on an infrastructure vote, something she reportedly wants to accomplish before Biden lands in Europe, is rocky as there are still leftist progressive members who won't support it yet. Republican yes votes on the "bipartisan" bill could make up the difference, but it's a risky vote for a House Speaker who doesn't want — and can't afford — to lose on the House floor. 

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