On Friday, the White House toughened President Joe Biden’s response to protesters who cornered Democratic Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema in a bathroom.
“He thinks what happened to him crossed the line and was downright unacceptable,” press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at the briefing.
She added: “It doesn’t have to be that way.”
Psaki’s condemnation was stronger than the one she and Biden offered earlier this week after protesters followed Sinema, a critical Democratic vote, into a bathroom at Arizona State University, where she gave conferences. People approached on its flight to Washington, DC, as well as Reagan National Airport.
Tensions within the Democratic Party have grown as lawmakers try to push through the bipartisan $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure deal and the partisan $ 3.5 trillion social protection and climate proposal . Sinema, along with centrist West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, has blocked the latter until the price drops.
Biden “wants to move forward as quickly as possible,” but Psaki declined to set another deadline after Democrats missed one for the bipartisan package last week.
“We don’t have the luxury of being frustrated. It’s a process,” she said, adding that Manchin and Sinema were negotiating in good faith. “The president is confident that we will get there. “
Biden managed to keep the country from defaulting on its debt this week for the first time in history – for now. But Psaki did not provide details on how he would do the same when the Treasury Department’s short-term borrowing extension expires in December.
“Leader Schumer has shown great skill in navigating this process,” she said of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who angered Republicans with a fiery speech after the conclusion of the bipartite debt ceiling agreement.
Biden’s legislative agenda has been crippled by the collapse of the polls. This week, he recorded the lowest approval rating of his presidency: 38%.
“I would say it’s a really tough time in our country. We’re still fighting COVID, and a lot of people thought we would get there, including us,” Psaki said. “This is by far the biggest problem on the minds of the American people.”
After a brief press briefing ahead of the federal government’s Columbus Day long weekend, Psaki also answered a question about Biden’s persistent cough as she left the room.
“He’s doing great. He has allergies,” she said.
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Original author: Naomi Lim