Democrats race to reach budget deal

By Adrienne Vogt, Aditi Sangal, Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner and Maureen Chowdhury, CNN

Updated 8:05 PM ET, Thu October 28, 2021
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12:01 p.m. ET, October 28, 2021

Biden calls framework "historic," but acknowledges "no one got everything they wanted, including me"

From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden made the case for his $1.75 trillion social agenda package, calling the economic framework "historic" during remarks from the White House.

"After months of tough and thoughtful negotiations I think we have an historic — I know we have an historic economic framework. It's a framework that will create millions of jobs, grow the economy, invest in our nation and our people, turn the climate crisis into an opportunity, put us on a path not only to compete but to win the economic competition for the 21st century against China and every other major country in the world," the President said.

Biden noted that the framework is not only "fully paid for" but also "17 Nobel prize winners in economics said it will lower the inflationary pressures on the economy. Over the next 10 years, it will not add to the deficit at all. It will actually reduce the deficit, according to the economists."

The President also explained how the current framework is a result of significant compromise.

"I want to thank my colleagues in the Congress for their leadership. We spent hours and hours over months and months working on this. No one got everything they wanted, including me, but that's what compromise is. That's consensus. And that's what I ran on," he said.

"I've long said compromise and consensus are the only way to get big things done in a democracy, important things done for country. I know it's hard. I know how deeply feel feel about the things they fight for. But this framework includes historic investments in our nation and in our people," Biden explained.

12:05 p.m. ET, October 28, 2021

Sanders says framework is "major step" but wants "to see it improved" 

From CNN's Ali Zaslav

Sen. Bernie Sanders called the newly released Build Back Better framework the “most consequential bill since the 1960s," but said clearly to him it has some “major gaps in it.”

The gaps, he said, include no language for lowering prescription drug prices, which is a “major problem,” as well as no expansion of Medicare for dental and vision. Sanders noted that he is “glad” they could get hearing aids covered.

He said before the House votes on the bill he thinks members should have legislative text and “a right to know that 50 US senators are supporting” it.

“I think what we have to do now was first of all, make sure that before the vote takes place in the House, to make sure that there is a very explicit legislative language and second of all that we continue to do our best to make this good bill even stronger,” Sanders said.

“Members of the House in my view are going to have to an assurance… I support the infrastructure bill, but I want to see a strong Build Back Better bill as well. And they are linked, together. So what you don't want to see is the infrastructure bill passed, and then not have the kind of Build Back Better that we need. And that’s why you need 50 members on board before there should be a vote, in my view, in the House” he added. 

12:38 p.m. ET, October 28, 2021

NOW: Biden speaks about fate of his economic agenda before trip to Europe

Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images
Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

President Biden is delivering remarks now from the White House on the future of his bipartisan infrastructure bill and wider spending bill.

"Today I'm pleased to announce after months of tough and thoughtful negotiations I think we have an historic — I know we have an historic economic framework," Biden said.

Biden attended a Democratic caucus meeting this morning to lay out the framework of his plan. He's trying to convince progressives who are skeptical of anything short of a fully written bill.

The President is set to depart soon on his second foreign trip as President for the G20 Leaders' summit and climate talks at the COP26 summit.

11:40 a.m. ET, October 28, 2021

Manchin won't say if he supports Biden's proposed framework

From CNN's Ted Barrett

Sen. Joe Manchin, a key Democratic moderate, was non-committal about whether he will support the framework agreement that was announced this morning by President Biden.

As he walked on the Senate floor for a vote, he said it’s “in the hands of the House. I’ve been dealing in good faith and will continue to deal in good faith.” 

CNN pressed if that means he supports the package. 

He looked back at CNN's Ted Barrett, pointed at his head and said, “You’ve got two ears. Listen.”

These are his first public comments reacting to the framework. 

11:44 a.m. ET, October 28, 2021

Pelosi tells Democratic caucus: Don't "embarrass" the President

From CNN's Manu Raju and Jeff Zeleny

Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told her members: “Don’t embarrass” the President by voting down the infrastructure bill as he travels overseas, according to a source in the room.

She also said she would put the infrastructure bill on the floor today and hold the vote open to get the bill through.

When Rep. Jan Schakowsky, a Democrat from Illinois, asked about key moderates Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, she said take the President at his word he will get the larger bill through. 

A member of Congress in the room, representing a Midwestern district, tells CNN the President explicitly made the point that the Democratic majorities hinge on what happens over the next week. It was not about the race in Virginia, which some members have dismissed the importance of, but rather the midterm elections.

“The House and Senate majorities and the rest of my presidency will be determined by what happens over the next week,” the President said, according to notes from this member. 

11:38 a.m. ET, October 28, 2021

Sinema on spending bill framework: "We have made significant progress"

From CNN's Manu Raju 

Key moderate Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema released a statement following this morning's caucus meeting that was attended by President Biden.

“After months of productive, good-faith negotiations with President Biden and the White House, we have made significant progress on the proposed budget reconciliation package. I look forward to getting this done, expanding economic opportunities and helping everyday families get ahead," she said in a statement.

More background: This morning, Biden laid out in person long-awaited details of his $1.75 trillion economic and climate package, trying to convince progressives who are skeptical of anything short of a fully written bill and commitments from all 50 members of the Senate Democratic caucus to back his framework.

10:59 a.m. ET, October 28, 2021

Rep. Pramila Jayapal: Biden didn't ask for a vote today, Pelosi did

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

After President Biden met with Democratic Party caucus, progressive leader Rep. Pramila Jayapal told reporters that he made a case for both bills but "did not ask for a vote on the bill today. The speaker did."

"He said he wants both bills to pass. He asked for votes on both bills. He went into some detail on the framework. I would say nothing different than what I knew before," Jayapal told reporters. "He said that what we do on these two bills is going to be determinative for how the world sees us."

Jayapal added that she does not know if the caucus is ready to vote yet but "we have had a position of needing to see the legislative text and voting on both bills, and we'll see where people are."

10:46 a.m. ET, October 28, 2021

Democratic lawmaker says Biden said he's "within inches" of getting deal with Manchin and Sinema

From CNN's Manu Raju

Democratic Rep. Kweisi Mfume of Maryland said President Biden told the caucus that they are “within inches” of a deal with Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, though he didn’t mention them by name.

According to a different source at the meeting, Biden said he wants a vote on both bills, and then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said right after she wants a vote today on infrastructure. Biden didn’t specify timeframe. Half the caucus cheered and stood up, chanting “vote, vote” — the other half didn’t.

Biden then joked that when a kid grows up and has a choice to be president or speaker, “It’s more powerful to be speaker,” he told the room

Also leaving the room, Rep. Kurt Schrader, a Blue Dog Democrat, wouldn’t say if he supports the framework deal — if he hasn’t seen the details yet.

10:58 a.m. ET, October 28, 2021

Biden and Pelosi encouraged Democrats to vote on the infrastructure bill today, caucus members say

From CNN's Lauren Fox, Annie Grayer and Daniella Diaz

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

President Biden encouraged Democrats to pass the infrastructure bill today as he walked through the framework of his social safety net bill, Rep. Mike Quigley said, adding that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi encouraged support.

House Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal also said Speaker Pelosi called for the vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill to happen today.

Democrats are “still waiting to see how it sifts out” but “the President couldn't have been any better," Neal added.

The bill's provision to lower prescription drug prices did not come up in the conversation, and is currently not included in the bill, he said.

After Biden departed, Pelosi stayed behind to answer questions or talk more, Quigley added.