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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

Progressives open to program limits

Rep. Pramila Jayapal addresses a rally in July. Photo: Shannon Finney/Getty Images for Green New Deal Network

Progressives have shown they won't budge on what they want. But how they get there is now up for negotiation, the head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus said Sunday.

Why it matters: Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) said her group may not get the $3.5 trillion in social spending it held out for last week, but it's also not settling for the $1.5 trillion pushed by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). Adjusting the durations of some new programs — rather than cutting them altogether — may bridge the gap.

Scoop: U.S. Chamber backs off BIF

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce headquarters. Photo: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is withdrawing its support of the Senate-passed $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill just hours after Punchbowl News reported House Republicans were booting it from its strategy calls, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The Chamber's chief policy officer, Neil Bradley, announced the policy shift in a letter to its Board of Directors on Monday. The pretense for his decision: President Biden formally linking the "hard" infrastructure bill with the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package during a meeting with House Democrats on Friday.

Mike Allen, author of AM
Oct 3, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Left seizes control

President Biden carried The Washington Post as he headed to Wilmington, Del., Saturday. Photo: Al Drago/Reuters

The left was the week’s big winner. But now progressives risk getting blamed if President Biden’s agenda ultimately tanks.

Driving the news: When Biden spoke to House Democrats on Friday afternoon, he took progressives' side. The roads-and-bridges bill and the big social-spending package must stay linked.

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