Let’s be blunt: Democrats aren’t close to a reconciliation framework

Let’s be blunt. Democrats aren’t close to a framework agreement on their massive reconciliation package.

We’ve heard President Joe Biden, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer talk about great progress, but our reporting and the available public evidence doesn’t match these sunny claims.

Biden hoped to have that framework deal in place before he leaves for Rome on Thursday. But without a big turnaround in the next 24 hours, that’s not going to happen.

This also calls into question whether Pelosi and House Democratic leaders can pass the long-delayed $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal by their Oct. 31 deadline. The White House badly wants to clear the public works bill, as do moderate House Democrats. However, without the framework agreement, we’re pretty sure it won’t pass. Pelosi says it should, progressives say they’ll continue to block it as they await a social spending deal. Another short-term patch to surface transportation funding could be necessary. We’ve asked administration sources if the president would press for an infrastructure vote without a framework agreement, and they think it would be foolhardy.