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Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Based on everything we know about New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's psyche, it's impossible to imagine him resigning unless he knows he has no way out. The only Democratic figure who could plausibly persuade Cuomo to resign is President Biden.

The big picture: Unlike many of his other Democratic critics, Cuomo respects and likes Biden. The two men have had good relations — during the transition, there was even (far-fetched) talk that the governor would be considered as Biden's attorney general.

If Biden called for Cuomo to resign, it would mean infinitely more than Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's statement on Friday. Schumer and Cuomo have years of bad blood — and the governor would never take marching orders from the Senate majority leader.

  • A smart piece last year by the N.Y. Times' Alex Burns explains the long history between Biden and the Cuomos, father and son.
  • That helps explain why calling for Cuomo's resignation would be so uncomfortable for Biden.

Biden has sat it out — silent, even as pressure builds for him to speak out as more and more elected Democrats call for Cuomo to step down. Jonathan Swan reports that as of yesterday, Biden had not discussed the scandal with Cuomo.

  • On Friday, the White House reiterated support for the investigation by New York attorney general Tish James. But with constant new facts, there’s a continuing conversation about how to respond.

The bottom line: Biden's silence on Cuomo is increasingly conspicuous. As the harassment allegations accumulate, this position already seems unsustainable.

Go deeper

House passes government funding, debt ceiling bill

Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

The House passed a bill on Tuesday to fund the government through early December, along with a measure to raise the debt ceiling through December 2022.

Why it matters: The stopgap measure, which needs to be passed to avoid a government shutdown when funding expires on Sept. 30, faces a difficult journey in the Senate where at least ten Republicans would need to vote in favor.

The Democrats' debt dilemma

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democrats find themselves in a political and potentially catastrophic economic quagmire as Republicans stand firm on denying them any help in raising the federal debt ceiling.

Why it matters: The Democrats are technically right — the debt comes, in part, from past spending by President Trump and his predecessors, not only President Biden's new big-ticket programs. But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is saddling them with the public relations challenge of making that distinction during next year's crucial midterms.

Pelosi's endgame

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appears at a news conference on Tuesday. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) began her infrastructure endgame Tuesday, pressuring centrists to ultimately support as much social spending as possible while pleading with progressives to pass the roads-and-bridges package preceding it.

Why it matters: Neither group can achieve what it wants without the other, their ultimatums be damned. The leaders of both acknowledged the speaker's unique gift for pulling off a deal after separate conversations with Democratic leaders.