'The alternative is nothing': White House defends 'compromise' to pass whittled-down spending package

'The alternative is nothing': White House defends 'compromise' to pass whittled-down spending package
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The White House is putting pressure on liberal and centrist congressional Democrats to agree on the finer points of his $2 trillion social welfare and climate spending package, but in the near term, the alternative isn't a bigger bill.

Press secretary Jen Psaki grew defensive when asked whether President Joe Biden was confident he would have "another bite of the apple" if programs, including two years of free community college, are scrapped from this package and proposals, such as 12 weeks of paid family medical leave, get slashed.

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"The president's belief, as you heard him say last night, is that compromise is not a dirty word and that we will get nothing if we do not have 50 votes," she told reporters Friday. "The alternative is not a larger package. The alternative is nothing. So, his objective is to continue to press forward to bring the parties together to get a historic package done."

Biden opened up regarding some of the spending package's likely provisions during a televised town hall this week, an indication Democrats are closing in on a deal after months of talks.

"We're at this point in the conversation where we're getting into the debate, the nitty-gritty details," Psaki said Friday. "He loves having conversations with the American people about what he's fighting for."

Negotiations have become more frantic before next week when federal government surface transportation funding expires and Biden flies to Scotland for a United Nations climate summit. But Psaki declined to specify deadlines on Friday.

Biden's press secretary also clarified the president did not announce new foreign policy other than U.S. support of Taiwan "maintaining a sufficient self-defense capability." She previewed, too, that Biden would have "more to say in the coming weeks" regarding the filibuster concerning election reforms.

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"Not getting voting rights done is not an option," she said.

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Tags: News, Biden, Biden Administration, Joe Biden, White House, budget reconciliation

Original Author: Naomi Lim

Original Location: 'The alternative is nothing': White House defends 'compromise' to pass whittled-down spending package

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