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President Biden pauses while speaking at the start of a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Prominent labor groups are urging progressive House lawmakers to stifle their concerns about the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal and give it their full support.

Why it matters: Even if the package wins enough Republican support in the Senate, Democrats are growing increasingly concerned progressives in the House will sink the deal.

  • Rep. Peter DeFazio, chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, unloaded Tuesday on the bipartisan deal, insisting it included "extraordinary deficiencies."
  • "I’m not taking it,” DeFazio said. "We cannot miss this opportunity to deal with safety issues in a meaningful way."
  • Building trade unions, which saw many of their members support President Trump, view the "hard" infrastructure plan for roads, bridges and other projects as a way to bring union households back in the Democratic fold.

What they are saying: "The message is mostly to progressive activists: Let's take a good deal for the American citizen and American public," said Mark McManus, general president of the United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters.

  • "These are good-paying union jobs for my membership," McManus said. "These are good jobs in each one of your districts."
  • “Bipartisanship in this day and age is good for America,” said James Callahan, general president of the International Union of Operating Engineers. "The green retrofit is a win."
  • "We can’t just shut the power grid off now because fossil fuel is dirty," Callahan added.

Between the lines: The union's basic argument to progressives is: Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

  • "We are urging lawmakers to avoid being distracted by those who are focused on what the compromise does not do — as if perfection is the only measure of progress and success,” said Terry O'Sullivan, general president of the Laborers' International Union of North America.

The bottom line: Most of the focus on the bipartisan deal has been in the Senate, but passage in the House isn’t a sure thing.

Go deeper

GOP burned by BIF

Rep. Blake Moore, who complains, "I think there's been irreparable damage done." Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

As Democrats haggle over the final details of their nearly $2 trillion social spending bill, Republicans are venting frustration — with key moderates still wavering over whether to back the companion $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill.

Why it matters: If progressives don't actually drop their demand to have the social bill passed before they agree to a vote on the infrastructure bill, the $1.2 trillion roads and bridges package remains in limbo without Republicans backfilling support for it.

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.

Biden says he'll make Supreme Court pick by end of February

President Biden speaks on the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden on Thursday said he will announce the nominee for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer's replacement by the end of February.

Driving the news: Biden also affirmed that he will nominate a Black woman to replace Breyer, saying "it's long overdue."