Jun 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden walks back implied veto threat on infrastructure deal

President Joe Biden gestures while walking on the South Lawn of the White House before boarding Marine One in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, June 25, 2021.
President Biden gestures while walking on the South Lawn of the White House before boarding Marine One on June 25. Photo: Oliver Contreras/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden sought Saturday to walk back his earlier statements on a bipartisan infrastructure deal after indicating Thursday he would not sign the bill unless Congress passed a separate measure that included additional domestic priorities.

The big picture: Biden's earlier remarks — that the two packages needed to move in “tandem” and “if they don’t come, I’m not signing. Real simple” — triggered a scramble among aides, who sought to quell concerns over the future of the bipartisan agreement, Politico reports.

What he's saying: "My comments also created the impression that I was issuing a veto threat on the very plan I had just agreed to, which was certainly not my intent," Biden said in a lengthy statement on Saturday.

  • "So to be clear: our bipartisan agreement does not preclude Republicans from attempting to defeat my Families Plan; likewise, they should have no objections to my devoted efforts to pass that Families Plan and other proposals in tandem. We will let the American people — and the Congress — decide."
  • "The bottom line is this: I gave my word to support the Infrastructure Plan, and that’s what I intend to do. I intend to pursue the passage of that plan, which Democrats and Republicans agreed to on Thursday, with vigor."

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