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Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) appears on ABC's "This Week" on June 27.

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said they were relieved by President Biden's statement on Saturday, walking back his implied veto threat of the bipartisan infrastructure deal.

Why it matters: The passage of the $1.2 trillion agreement seemed to be in jeopardy after Biden made several remarks on Thursday suggesting an ultimatum.

  • In a lengthy statement on Saturday afternoon, Biden clarified: "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."
  • Portman said Sunday on ABC's "This Week" that he and other senators were "blindsided" by Biden's earlier remarks.

Of note: Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) said Sunday said that he expects Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will support the compromise.

  • “If we can pull this off, I think Mitch will favor it,” Cassidy said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” 

What they're saying: "This is the largest infrastructure package in the history of the United States of America," Manchin said on "This Week."

  • "There has never been a doubt in my mind that [Biden] is anxious for this bill to pass and for him to sign it, and I look forward to being there when he does," he continued.
  • Progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said the president should not be limited by Senate Republicans "particularly when we have a House majority, we have 50 Democratic senators, and we have the White House."
  • She and other Democrats want the infrastructure deal to also tackle things like climate change.
  • Cedric Richmond, senior adviser to the president, said on "Face the Nation" he believes they will "see overwhelming Democratic support" for a deal.

Go deeper: Biden walks back implied veto threat on infrastructure deal

This story has been updated.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Sep 15, 2021 - Politics & Policy

The precarious White House climate posture

President Biden at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado on Sept. 14, 2021. Photo: Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The White House is stepping up its PR push for strong climate measures on Capitol Hill even while arguing it can make lots of progress with executive powers.

Driving the news: President Biden yesterday called for congressional action in remarks at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado.

Sep 14, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Senate leaving without finalizing reconciliation bill

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer addresses reporters on Tuesday. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senate leaders are planning to hold final votes for the week on Tuesday night so members can fly home early for Yom Kippur, three aides familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: Senate Democrats, who returned on Monday from their monthlong recess, are planning to leave town one day before Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's (D-N.Y.) "soft" deadline for the House and Senate committees to finish drafting their portions of the $3.5 trillion infrastructure reconciliation plan.

Sep 16, 2021 - Politics & Policy

The debt ceiling stare down

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Congress is fast approaching its deadline to raise the debt ceiling or risk defaulting on the nation's debt, and, as of now, there's no serious plan to stave off what many members are calling the worst-case scenario.

Why it matters: The U.S. has never defaulted on its debt. If Congress doesn't take "extraordinary measures" to finance the government, it would "likely cause irreparable damage to the U.S. economy and global financial markets," Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned last week.

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