Democrats set to pare back Biden agenda

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Democrats will be disappointed as the party is forced to scale back US President Joe Biden's sweeping infrastructure and social agenda amid opposition from Republicans and some moderate members of his party, a senior White House advisor says.

"People will be disappointed. People will not get everything they want, that is the art of legislating, but the goal here is to get both bills and we're going to fight until we get both bills," Cedric Richmond, director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, said on NBC's Meet the Press.

Richmond, a former member of the House of Representatives, spoke two days after Biden visited the Capitol on Friday to try to end a fight between moderates and progressives in his Democratic Party that has threatened the two bills that make up the core of his domestic agenda - an infrastructure bill and a multi-trillion-dollar social spending bill.

A sweeping bill intended to bolster the social safety net and fight climate change will need to be pared from a $US3.5 trillion ($A4.8 trillion) goal, perhaps to closer to $US2 trillion, Democrats said following Biden's visit.

Moderate Democrats, particularly Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, have refused to support the larger number.

Manchin has said he could accept a bill closer to $US1.5 trillion while Sinema has not committed publicly to a number.

After earlier agreeing at moderates' urging to hold a House vote last week on a $US1 trillion infrastructure bill that passed the Senate in an August bipartisan vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi cancelled the vote at the urging of progressives who want both bills to move in unison.

Biden, who has said he will "work like hell" to get the legislative package passed, will travel to Michigan on Tuesday to rally support for it, the White House said on Sunday.

Michigan has a congressional delegation that in some ways represents the broad scope of the Democratic party, from moderate Representative Elissa Slotkin to progressive Representative Rashida Tlaib.

Howell, Michigan, where the president will visit, is in Slotkin's district.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Sunday the goal is to get both the infrastructure and social spending bills done in the next month.

Congress also needs to act in the next month to prevent the federal government from a catastrophic debt default.

The influential chair of the 95-member Congressional Progressive Caucus, Representative Pramila Jayapal, said on Sunday an acceptable range for the social spending bill would be somewhere between $US1.5 trillion and $US3.5 trillion.

Moderate Democratic Senator Joe Manchin has said his top line for the package is $US1.5 trillion but Jayapal told CNN: "That's not gonna happen. Because that's too small to get our priorities in. So, it's gonna be somewhere between 1.5 and 3.5 (trillion dollars)."

Progressive Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, told ABC News on Sunday that $US3.5 trillion "should be a minimum. But I accept there is going to have to be give and take".

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