Fox News contributor Dan Bongino on Democrats being divided over massive spending bill.
Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal acknowledged that the total price tag of the controversial spending bill currently being debated on Capitol Hill will have to be lowered in order to push it through Congress.
"We’re going to have to come down in our number," Jayapal said Friday after leaving a meeting on Capitol Hill that included the House Democratic caucus and President Biden. "We're going to get to work and see what we can do."
Lawmakers who spoke after the meeting say Biden made it clear that the reconciliation bill and the infrastructure bill were linked together. But he told members they needed to come down from $3.5 trillion to closer to $2 trillion for the spending bill Democrats want to run under reconciliation, which allows passage by a majority vote.
Jayapal said that Democrats will attempt to vote on the surface transportation bill on Friday night but will not vote on the infrastructure bill today.
Jayapal added that Biden, who left Capitol Hill after the meeting, gave "no timetable" on when the bill would be voted on.
Before departing the Capitol, Biden said that it "doesn’t matter if it’s in six minutes – six days – six weeks…we will get it done"
Fox News is told Democrats believe the purpose of the meeting was to bring down the temperature and the internal squabbling between both sides of the caucus.
The president told Democrats that they didn’t have the votes to pass the infrastructure bill yet. He said he had to work with Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, two moderates opposed to the $3.5 trillion spending bill price tag, but it would take time to get an agreement.
Many progressive members walked away saying they feel "great" that the president sided with them, agreeing that votes on the two bills must be linked. Moderate members were feeling a little defeated that the president did not try to rally support for a vote on infrastructure today.
Pelosi had said a vote on the infrastructure bill would come Friday. "We're not trillions apart," she said at 12:01 a.m Friday morning. "There'll be a vote today."
Pelosi said the bill would pass, vowing Sunday to never bring "a bill to the floor that doesn't have the votes." But her initial attempt to get the bill to the floor for a vote was thwarted Thursday after progressives warned her that "a majority of our members will only vote for the infrastructure bill after the President’s visionary Build Back Better Act passes."
Progressives followed through on their longstanding threats that they will hold up the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill without a simultaneous vote on the sweeping $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill.
Biden did not ask Democrats to vote on Friday.
The feud now threatens two of Biden’s top legislative priorities as the divide within the Democratic Party deepens and the progressives’ power increases.
Fox News’ Emma Colton, Chad Pergram, Hillary Vaughn, and Jacqui Heinrich contributed to this report