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President Joe Biden is set to deliver a speech detailing the newly unveiled framework for his $1.75 trillion climate and social spending plan and the next steps in the legislative process, as he aims to shore up Democratic support for the bill.
Biden traveled to Capitol Hill earlier Thursday to pitch Democrats on the outlines of the bill, which allocates $555 billion toward climate initiatives and is offset by nearly $2 trillion in corporate tax hikes and other reforms. He also urged House progressives to support a $1 trillion infrastructure bill that the Senate passed months earlier.
Those two bills, which Democratic leaders want to pass in tandem, form the core of the Biden administration’s economic agenda. But some of the plan’s most ambitious provisions have been weakened or scrapped due to opposition from Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, whose votes are required for the bill’s passage.
Biden is scheduled to speak in the East Room of the White House just before leaving on an overseas trip to Europe, where he will meet with Pope Francis and other world leaders to discuss issues ranging from climate change to the international economy.
The president delayed his departure by several hours in order to meet with Democrats on Capitol Hill about the legislative framework. As Biden prepared to ship off, Democratic leaders had provided few clear assurances that a deal was imminent, and a draft of the legislative text still had yet to be unveiled.
“It’s a good day,” Biden told reporters as he walked through Capitol Hill with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Thursday morning.
Asked if progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., would back the plan, Biden responded with a laugh, “Everybody’s on board. You’re on board, aren’t you?”