A Conversation With Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar

Happy Friday—we hope your week was less chaotic than it’s been for congressional Democrats.

President Joe Biden pushed back his departure to Europe for a G20 meeting in Rome and a climate summit in Scotland yesterday in an attempt to bring his party closer to agreement on a whittled down Build Back Better bill. The White House rolled out a $1.85 trillion framework of the legislation and Biden trekked to Capitol Hill to huddle Thursday morning with House Democrats in an attempt to find unity.

The plan came after weeks of negotiations between Democratic leaders and comparatively centrist Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. Progressives in the House had looked to those talks for details on which policies Manchin and Sinema will ultimately support—but the two senators made rather enigmatic statements about the deal, leaving their votes in doubt.

The lack of clarity led to yet another delay for a different bill—the bipartisan infrastructure package that passed the Senate in August. (Also somewhat goofily known as the BIF.) House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told her members Thursday morning that she wanted to bring the infrastructure bill to the House floor for final passage before Biden landed in Europe—and she warned them against embarrassing the president by voting against it. The legislation includes hundreds of billions of dollars to revamp the nation’s roads, bridges, airports, and to expand broadband access, among other items.

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