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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."

Go deeper: Biden strikes infrastructure deal with bipartisan group of senators

Go deeper

Sep 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Republicans’ secret lobbying

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The five Senate Republicans who helped negotiate and draft the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill have been privately courting their Republican colleagues to pass the measure in the House.

Why it matters: House GOP leaders are actively urging their members to oppose the bill. The senators are working to undercut that effort as Monday shapes up as a do-or-die moment for the bipartisan bill.

Sep 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Democrats release full text of Biden's $3.5T reconciliation package

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday unveiled the full text of President Biden's $3.5 trillion social spending package.

Why it matters: Democrats are racing to finish negotiations and get the bill on the floor as soon as possible so Pelosi can fulfill her promises to both House centrists and progressives about the timing and sequencing of passing the party's dual infrastructure packages.

Stock buybacks boom as corporate cash piles grow

The Delta variant is keeping more companies cautious about how to invest the mountains of cash they have at their disposal. That hesitancy has led, in part, to corporate spending on stock buybacks outpacing capital expenditures this year. 

Why it matters: Companies hoarded cash and raised prices over the past year — leaving them with a lot of money and decisions about what to do with it.