US President Joe Biden will address House Democrats on Friday at Capitol Hill, White House officials said, with the party lawmakers still divided over the passing of his $1 trillion infrastructure bill.
The US president has kept a low public profile most of the week while negotiating behind the scenes trying to break the impasse, is set to meet with Democrats at 3.30 pm EST, according to Associated Press.
For the second day in a row, Democrats appeared to be stuck on how to proceed with the idea, which would spend extra money to repair the nation's roads, bridges, pipelines, ports, and Internet connections.
The same internal rebellion that has plagued House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) all week instead threatened to push the infrastructure vote into the weekend, denying what might have been a swift bipartisan victory for the president.
The House Speaker has twice had to delay a vote on a scaled-back version of his $3.5 trillion government overhaul Biden supports because progressive Democrats are vowing to defeat it unless they also get a vote on $3.5 trillion social and climate policy measure he also supports -- but one that two moderate Democratic senators have objected to as too costly.
Holdout Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia sank hopes for a swift compromise, despite hours of shuttle diplomacy late Thursday with White House aides on Capitol Hill, when he refused to budge on his demands for a smaller overall package, around $1.5 trillion. That's too meagre for progressive lawmakers who are refusing to vote on the measure of the public work without a commitment to Biden's broader framework on the bigger bill.
Because of the ongoing negotiations, Biden opted to remain in Washington on Friday instead of travelling to his Delaware home as he often does on weekends. His public approval rating has dropped, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center.
With inputs from the Associated Press