'Everybody's frustrated' as US Dems spar

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

US President Joe Biden says he is going to "work like hell" to get both an infrastructure bill and a multi-trillion-dollar social spending bill passed through Congress and plans to travel more to bolster support with the public.

Biden visited the Capitol on Friday to try to end a fight between the moderate and progressive factions in his Democratic Party that has threatened the two bills that make up the core of his domestic agenda.

The president on Saturday acknowledged criticism that he had not done more to gin up support for the legislation by travelling around the country.

He noted there were many reasons for that, including his focus on hurricane and storm damage during recent trips, among other things.

Biden said he would be going around the country "making the case why it's so important" and making it clearer to people what is in the two bills.

He said he wanted with the bills to make life more livable for ordinary people by making child care affordable, for example.

"There's nothing in any of these pieces of legislation that's radical, that is unreasonable," Biden said.

"I'm going to try to sell what I think the people, the American people, will buy."

Biden expressed confidence that both bills would get passed but declined to set a deadline, such as the November Thanksgiving holiday, for when that would happen.

"I believe I can get this done," Biden said.

"Everybody's frustrated, it's part of being in government, being frustrated," Biden told reporters before leaving the White House for a weekend stay at his home in Wilmington, Delaware.

Moderate Democratic lawmakers wanted an immediate vote on a $US1 trillion ($A1.4 trillion) infrastructure bill in the House of Representatives that has already passed the Senate while progressives want to wait until there is agreement on a sweeping $US3.5 trillion bill to bolster social spending and fight climate change.

Biden, a former senator who is deeply familiar with how the legislative process works, told his caucus on Friday that they could delay a vote on the smaller bill and sharply scale back the larger one to about $US2 trillion.

Meanwhile the president said on Saturday he hoped Republicans would not use a filibuster in the Senate to block efforts to raise the debt ceiling.

"That would be totally unconscionable," he said.

The Treasury Department estimates that it has until about October 18 for the government's $US28.4 trillion borrowing limit to be raised by Congress or risk a debt default with potentially catastrophic economic consequences.

with AP

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting