Biden Embarks On His Bipartisan Push For An Infrastructure Deal

Biden Embarks On His Bipartisan Push For An Infrastructure Deal

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Washington (CNN)President Joe Biden faces a daunting task as he embarks on a bipartisan push with top congressional leaders to advance several of his key priorities — which will advance or collapse depending on how the coming weeks shake out.

CNN’s Capitol Hill team reports that the ultimate outcome of these talks could help define Biden’s first term since 2021 remains a crucial period for policymaking, while 2022 will be consumed with both parties focused on winning the midterms, a recipe unlikely to yield much legislative success.

Here’s where things stand:

    Infrastructure

      The White House effort on Biden’s huge domestic infrastructure package — which moderate West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin has said he does not want to see passed with only Democratic support absent a real effort at courting Republicans — includes intense discussions with top committee Republicans, including Manchin’s colleague Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Sen. Roger Wicker, a Mississippi Republican.

        Biden is slated to host his first meeting with Republican and Democratic leadership from the House and Senate since taking office on May 12 at the White House. The talks are also expected to intensify as lawmakers return from recess and Capito is scheduled to visit the President once again.

        The focus? Finding out whether Republicans and Democrats could cut a more modest deal on infrastructure and then come back later using a special budget tool known as reconciliation to pass some of Biden’s more ambitious reforms to paid family leave and extending the expanded child tax credit.

          Police reform

          Serious bipartisan talks over legislation to overhaul policing between Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina and Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Democratic Rep. Karen Bass of California are also expected to continue this week as the lawmakers leading an effort to broker a deal say they are making progress, despite thorny unresolved issues.

          Tentative agreement reached on some key issues. A bipartisan group of lawmakers working on legislative efforts to overhaul policing appear to be nearing an agreement to set federal standards for:

          • No-knock warrants.
          • A ban chokeholds except in life-threatening situations.
          • Limits on equipment the Defense Department can send to state and local police departments.

          Two major issues remain. One of them is qualified immunity, which protects police officers from civil lawsuits. The other includes Section 242, a part of federal law which sets the standard for criminally prosecuting police officers.

          House Majority Whip urges compromise. South Carolina Democratic Rep. James Clyburn said Democrats should not delay new policing reform legislation even if a provision on ending civil lawsuit protections currently afforded to police officers is not included, arguing that the party can push to end qualified immunity at another time.

          Election overhaul and gun legislation

          In the Senate, Democrats also want to take action on a sweeping voting bill and gun legislation, though neither priority is on track to have the votes to overcome a filibuster and pass out of the chamber.

          Voting bill. While it won’t have the 60 votes to pass out of the Senate, taking up the voting legislation will give Democrats an opportunity to tout the legislation, and will give some more liberal-leaning lawmakers the chance to once again argue that the filibuster should be eliminated.

          Gun legislation. I

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