Biden tells Democratic donors that the party needs more financial firepower to break legislative gridlock: 'We need two more senators'

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Joe Biden
President Joe Biden motions while boarding Air Force One at Los Angeles International Airport after attending the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, Calif., on June 11, 2022.AP Photo/Evan Vucci
  • President Joe Biden on Friday indirectly called out Sens. Sinema and Manchin at a California fundraiser.

  • "We need two more senators," he said in referencing the pair, who have stymied some of his big legislative items.

  • Biden didn't say their names but noted the difficulty of governing with such a closely-divided Congress.

President Joe Biden on Friday reportedly told Democratic donors at two California fundraisers that he needed some legislative firepower to help him get his priorities passed on Capitol Hill — a nod to the wafer-thin margins Democrats hold in Congress.

At the second fundraiser in Los Angeles, Biden remarked on the evenly-divided Senate, where he has had to rely on Vice President Kamala Harris' tiebreaking votes and unanimous Democratic unity to get his biggest priorities over the finish line, according to The Associated Press.

"We need two more senators," the president said, referencing Sens. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia — the two moderate lawmakers who have upended some of his biggest domestic policy items since the beginning of his term.

While Biden has been able to rely on Sinema and Manchin in their overwhelming support for his judicial nominees, he stumbled with them on negotiations regarding the Build Back Better Act, the multitrillion social-spending package that was being negotiated for months only to collapse at the end of 2021.

The president did not call out the lawmakers by name, but said that they're "slowing up what we're able to do."

Democrats are facing a difficult electoral roadmap this year, as they are defending narrow majorities in both houses of Congress, while also contending with Biden's middling approval ratings.

However, Biden said he was hopeful that the party could perform well and asked donors to help him achieve his legislative goals.

An official with Democratic National Committee told The Associated Press that each fundraiser raked in roughly $2.5 million apiece.

If Democrats could pick up two Senate seats without losing any of their current members, they would have a 52-seat majority, enough to potentially weaken the filibuster and pass bills without requiring support from either Manchin or Sinema.

Read the original article on Business Insider