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Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and senior White House officials met for 90 minutes on Tuesday to strategize how to ensure passage of major infrastructure spending, people familiar with the discussions tell Axios.

Why it matters: With the president's top legislative priority facing resistance among a Democratic caucus that's divided about how to proceed, top Biden aides and Pelosi (D-Calif.) are seeking to present a unified front.

The details: White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, counselor Steve Ricchetti and legislative affairs director Louisa Terrell participated meeting, held over Zoom with Pelosi back in her district during the August recess.

  • Officials declined to detail any playbook that emerged.

The meeting comes before the House returns on Aug. 23 and holds procedural votes on infrastructure legislation as well as a voting rights bill, which also was discussed.

  • A $3.5 trillion resolution under consideration could allow Democrats to use the budget reconciliation process to unilaterally force through greater infrastructure spending than Republicans would accept.
  • The House also will decide the fate of the $1.2 trillion Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill.

The backdrop: Moderate Democrats are growing increasingly frustrated over Pelosi's determination not to bring the bipartisan bill to a vote without the reconciliation bill.

  • "You don't have a combined birthday party and Christmas party, because they're two different things," Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) told Axios in an interview Tuesday in her district.
  • But progressive lawmakers have threatened to tank the bipartisan infrastructure plan unless it's tied to the $3.5 trillion bill that includes broader definitions of infrastructure, such as investments addressing child care, health care and climate change.

Go deeper

The progressive promise

Rep. Mark Pocan, who says, "I trust the president." Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

House progressives say they're willing to stop holding the bipartisan infrastructure bill hostage based on a presidential promise.

Why it matters: A key sticking point for progressives supporting the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill was their requirement the Senate first pass the nearly $2 trillion social safety net expansion they favor. Now, they say senators only have to promise they'll do so before they support the BIF.

Oct 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Biden plan expected to include at least $500B for climate

Photo: Stephanie Keith/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The White House is privately telling lawmakers the climate portion of President Biden's roughly $2 trillion social spending plan is "mostly settled" and will likely cost more than $500 billion, two sources familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: A price tag of $500 billion to $555 billion is a huge number and, if it holds, would likely be the single biggest component of the sweeping package. It also isn't far off from the roughly $600 billion proposed when the bill was expected to cost $3.5 trillion.

21 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Plan B for soaking the rich

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Millionaires be warned: Democrats are looking for creative ways to tax the wealthiest Americans to pay for their $1.75 trillion social safety net expansion, lawmakers and aides tell Axios.

Why it matters: The nation’s 700 billionaires may have dodged a bullet when Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) effectively killed a plan to tax just their unrealized capital gains. But Manchin has told colleagues he's open to hitting all the country’s richest families and individuals with higher taxes.