PHOENIX - President Joe Biden is trying to get his party on the same page to pass an infrastructure bill and an Arizona Senator at the center of the struggle.
Kyrsten Sinema, along with West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, two moderate Democrats, are calling for a smaller package as Biden's plan comes with a price tag of $3.5 trillion.
A vote was delayed on Thursday over fear Democrats couldn't come together and now progressives acknowledge they might have to make some concessions.
Arizona Congressman Ruben Gallego says, "He would like to see both of them move at the same time or at least have an agreement, a framework that would make, I'd say, both sides comfortable."
Republicans, meanwhile, criticized Democrats for the disarray.
Despite the high-level talks, Democrats still don't have a deal to move both pieces of legislation forward and Sinema and Manchin, remain at the center of this debate.
Senator Sinema sidestepped stalled talks in Washington D.C. to see her Phoenix foot doctor, but on Oct. 2, she's hosting a high-priced fundraiser tonight at a pricey Phoenix resort.
Also at the fundraisers? Protestors.
A small group gathered Saturday night in front of the Royal Palms Resort in central Phoenix. They want the senator to support Biden's big spending bill.
Sinema has been a so-called thorn in the side of many Democrats who see her as standing in the way of party principles, like supporting a minimum wage hike and ending the filibuster.
Sinema has consistently said ending the filibuster would mean less power for the minority party.
"Step by step," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said at the Capitol, suggesting a deal with Biden was within reach.
"This is the path — it’s not a fork in the road," she said. "This is the fun part."
The risks are clear, but so is the potential reward as Biden and his party reach for a giant legislative accomplishment — promising a vast rewrite of the nation’s balance sheet with an ever-slim majority in Congress. His idea is to essentially raise taxes on corporations and the wealthy and use that money to expand government health care, education and other programs — an impact that would be felt in countless American lives.
At the White House, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that Biden was making calls, and she acknowledged the process looked messy from the outside, the "sausage-making" of Capitol Hill.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
- House prepares for clash over $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill
- Sinema reiterates she won't back $3.5T spending bill, says Biden and Schumer 'fully aware' of her stance
- Biden dives into high-stakes negotiations over Build Back Better infrastructure plan
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