But left-wing Democrats held the bill hostage in a bid to secure commitments for Biden’s second and most ambitious $ 3.5 billion climate and welfare plan.
The colossal package has been compared to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal as a generational opportunity to recast the social fabric of the nation.
He proposes an overhaul of the nation’s social network, including investments in childcare, health, education and climate programs paid for by tax increases on wealthy Americans and businesses.
Along with the infrastructure bill, it forms the centerpiece of Biden’s internal priorities, dubbed his “build back better” agenda.
But The sum of $ 3.5 billion has divided the party, with two Democratic senators in the Senate split 50-50 refusing to give him the necessary backing.
Biden’s last-minute race to the Capitol was an attempt to bridge the gulf between progressives and the two senators who resist: Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema.
The president reportedly acknowledged to his party that the fate of his two top legislative priorities was tied, in a victory for progressives.
But he hinted that the $ 3.5 trillion welfare package might have to be cut significantly if it is to win the backing of moderate Democrats.
One Democrat described Biden’s private meeting as an attempt to play peacemaker.
“This was an olive branch, not demanding,” said Congressman Mike Quigley.