Biden delays Pope trip to meet with seething Squad over infrastructure bill cuts

President Joe Biden had to delay the start of his trip overseas beginning with a meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican after threats from the ‘Squad’ and other Democrats to tank his Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework (BIF) for being rushed, weak and serving corporate interests all while the actual “pay for” for the bill’s hefty price tag remains ambiguous.

The president reportedly delayed his flight so that he can spend a few hours on the Hill attempting to convince Democrats in opposition to the BIF to allow its passage so that he can bring a major domestic policy win with him ahead of meetings with foreign leaders and at the U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland.

Biden will still meet with the Pope on Friday and will hold a separate meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Democrats on Capitol Hill have been scrambling to complete negotiations on the BIF and to ensure that they have the votes to pass it but, as it stands now, the BIF is ready to implode. Biden tweeted his plea to Democrats to bring the infrastructure bill “over the finish line” Wednesday.

Some of those staunchly opposed to the BIF as written view the president’s push for its passage as his attempt at redemption so that he can peacock his domestic climate change win at COP26 after a series of abysmal policy failures at home and abroad.

Since the start of his presidency, Biden has been seen as a puppet for the radical left, and his choice to delay his trip abroad only further solidifies just how deep in their pockets he is.

Members of the ‘Squad’ who are among the most vocal in their opposition to the bill have accused the president of “selling out” to progressive and moderate interests like that of Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).

“I am not going to sell out my district for a bill that was written by the fossil fuel industry and championed by two Dem senators who bow down to Big Pharma & corporate polluters,” Squad member, Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) wrote on Twitter Wednesday night.

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) also tweeted Wednesday, criticizing the trajectory of the BIF.

“Let’s have an honest accounting of what is really happening with these ever evolving negotiations. First, instead of centering the needs of the American people, corporate Democrats have purely been about lining the pockets and serving the interests of the donor class,” she wrote.

After highlighting priorities like expanded welfare and climate change, Omar tweeted, “To be clear, President Joe Biden *ran* and won on these values. These are the values of the Democratic Party. It is corporate greed, and the lawmakers who serve them, who are betraying the values of our party and the American people.”

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is pushing to see the full bill text before the vote.

“Details matter. A lot of people don’t know what the “bipartisan” bill consists of (despite text) and why it’s critical that Build Back Better be paired with it. Take climate. There is a LOT of oil and gas lobbyist spin about BIF, but deal is it’s climate negative,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

In a Twitter thread, the Squad member refuted criticism that she is “naive” or immature,” claiming that she doesn’t “get hustled by the spin” related to the bill.

“Details matter. On climate, they’re life+death. So to do my job, I need more than an IOU. Not too much to ask,” Ocasio-Cortez said, adding “How many times has leg been rushed just for people to be resentful at details later? Let’s do this right.”

As it stands, provisions like free community college and paid family leave are out but expanded health care programs, free pre-kindergarten and about $500 billion in climate change funding remain in the at least $1.75 trillion package.

Democrats are still working to find ways to pay for the massive spending bill. Yesterday, a new billionaire’s tax was proposed that would tax five percent on incomes above $10 million and an additional 3 percent on those beyond $25 million, according to the Associated Press.

Manchin reportedly objected to the tax that was designed to appease another senator on the fence, Sinema.

The highly controversial billionaire’s tax is holding up negotiations, and it remains unclear if Democrats will propose other taxes or gimmicks to get the bill across the finish line.

Sunday marks the deadline for a smaller, bipartisan transportation bill that renews funds for transportation programs set to expire, but even that bill is being held up. Radical lawmakers refuse to support the bipartisan legislation without securing the BIF.

Biden’s got his work cut out for him as he attempts to secure enough Democrats to ensure the BIF’s passage, but if his track record is indicative of anything, it’s unlikely he will depart for his European trip with a win.

Kay Apfel

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