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Joe Biden speaking about bipartisanship in 1974 during a new No Labels TV ad. Photo: No Labels

A group of political moderates is buying ads in Delaware to urge President Biden to continue with bipartisan negotiations over an infrastructure deal, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Some progressives previously urged the president to bail on such talks, and ram through his plans using the partisan budget reconciliation process. The moderates cite Biden's history as a bipartisan dealmaker in their counter.

Driving the news: No Labels, whose mission is “combat partisan dysfunction in politics,” has organized 139 leaders and organizations spanning across the business, military and civic spheres to write a letter urging negotiations continue.

  • It encourages the president to build on the progress already made by the House Problem Solvers Caucus and the proposals put forward by a bipartisan group of 20 senators known as the G20.
  • It’s also launching an ad buy in the Delaware and Washington, D.C., TV markets drawing on footage of the president throughout his political career, speaking about the importance of bipartisanship.
  • The ad will run as 60-second and 30-second spots in Wilmington and Rehoboth, Delaware cable markets on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News beginning Tuesday. The spots will begin running in the D.C. TV market on Wednesday.
  • “He was a bridge builder and now, as president, he has an opportunity to rebuild our infrastructure and rebuild the public’s faith in our democracy at the same time,” said former Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.), founding chair of No Labels.
  • Lieberman said he observed Biden in the Senate “bring Democrats and Republicans together on issue after issue."

Between the lines: Even if the bipartisan group seals a deal on a traditional roads-and-bridges infrastructure package, Democrats have said they will try to pass a second bill covering things like paid family leave and “care infrastructure” via the reconciliation process.

Flashback: Biden’s Plan B could be a bust.

Go deeper

Sep 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Scoop - Manchin: Delay Biden plan to '22

Sen. Joe Manchin walks through the Capitol Visitor Center last week. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is privately saying he thinks Congress should take a “strategic pause” until 2022 before voting on President Biden’s $3.5 trillion social-spending package, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Manchin’s new timeline — if he insists on it — would disrupt the plans by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to vote on the budget reconciliation package this month.

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.

Sep 22, 2021 - Politics & Policy

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.