Apr 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

White House pounds Capitol Hill to sell infrastructure bill

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki is seen outlining benefits of the administration's infrastructure plan.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki outlines benefits of the infrastructure bill on Monday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Top Biden officials have meetings planned with more than a dozen congressional committees this week as they try to pass a multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure package on an accelerated timeline, senior White House sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Democrats are anxious to pass their massive tax-and-spend package before the August recess. If negotiations stretch beyond the summer break, the chances increase they drag into 2022, and it's hard to get members to take tough votes during election years.

The details: White House legislative affairs director Louisa Terrell and National Economic Council director Brian Deese have set up multiple meetings each day.

  • The sessions involve members of Congress and National Economic Council staff and a group of Cabinet secretaries the White House has tapped to sell infrastructure.
  • The infrastructure proposal touches on issues ranging from broadband internet to housing to climate. Cabinet leaders plan to meet with members of committees that intersect with their areas of expertise.
  • Housing and Development Secretary Marcia Fudge is spending time discussing housing, for example, while Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo is working on the specifics of international competitiveness.

Between the lines: Officials from both parties are deeply skeptical any deal can be hatched that would win the support of the 10 Republicans needed to pass major legislation.

  • Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) had not yet left today's infrastructure outreach meeting with President Biden before his staff began tweeting in opposition to the proposal, Axios' Kadia Goba noted.
Go deeper