White House officials on Tuesday downplayed the need to reach an agreement on President Joe Biden’s extensive Build Back Better agenda before traveling abroad to meet with other global leaders in Europe.
The president is due to attend a United Nations conference on climate change on Monday and Tuesday next week at which Democratic leaders had hoped Biden would introduce the environmental protection provisions of his administration’s signature legislative goal. However, key components of this social spending plan, including some provisions to combat climate change, continue to be negotiated between the Democrats on Capitol Hill, and it is unclear whether lawmakers will reach an agreement before Biden heads for Europe on Thursday.
Biden has personally expressed his hope that Congress could vote on his administration’s social spending package this week, but both White House press secretary Jen Psaki and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters Tuesday that the president’s negotiating positions would not do this at the UN Climate Change Conference if he did not have a domestic business in hand when he arrived.
“I don’t think leaders will see this as a binary question: is it done, isn’t it done,” Sullivan said. “They will say, ‘Is President Biden on track to deliver what he has promised?’ And we believe that either way he will be on the right track. “
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