'We're Going to Get This Done,' Biden Says After Hill Meeting

President lobbies divided Democrats for the first time in person
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 1, 2021 5:15 PM CDT
Biden Goes to Capitol Hill to Lobby Divided Democrats
Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez arrives Friday for a meeting with other House Democrats and President Biden.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

With his domestic legislative agenda going nowhere in Congress, many Democrats had publicly urged President Biden to get more involved personally in negotiations. He did that Friday afternoon, going to Capitol Hill to meet with the divided House Democrats, the New York Times reports. As he left, he expressed confidence that the impasse would be broken. "I'm telling you, we’re going to get this done," the president said. Despite the deadlines and postponed voting, Biden's not watching the clock. "It doesn't matter whether it's in six minutes, six days or six weeks," he said. "We're going to get it done."

The 40-minute session was the first time Biden has met with the House Democratic Caucus. Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen is among those who wanted the meeting, per CNN. "Very few of us have seen the president in nine months he's been president," Cohen said. The president didn't try to get a commitment on a timeline but urged centrist and progressive members to find common ground, per the Hill. "I think the president might be the only person that can bridge both the trust gap and the timing gap," said Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips.

After the talks with Biden, at least one centrist House member wanted a vote scheduled this week. But there's still no sign of when the vote will be held. "I'm very disappointed," Costa said. Democrats aren't close to reaching a deal, per CNN, and it's not clear what next steps are for the party. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who with Sen. Joe Manchin are the Democrats blocking Biden's infrastructure plan on the other side of the Capitol, isn't even in town; her staff said she went to Phoenix for a medical appointment. Manchin does plan to stay in Washington this weekend. (More House Democrats stories.)

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