Washington — President Biden met with high congressional leaders to discuss his legislative priorities for the remainder of the 12 months, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer saying the group “made some good progress” as lawmakers return to Washington for his or her lame-duck session forward of the brand new Congress.
Schumer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Vice President Kamala Harris attended Tuesday’s assembly within the Roosevelt Room for the group’s first such gathering for the reason that midterm elections. With Republicans poised to take management of the House in January, there’swith management of each chambers within the coming weeks.
A high precedence for Mr. Biden and congressional leaders is averting a nationwide railroad strike by passing a congressional decision to implement a contract deal brokered by the White House and union bosses however rejected by a number of unions’ employees. Experts warn a rail strike might wreak havoc on provide chains and worsen inflationary costs forward of the vacation season. Mr. Bidenon Monday night time, and on Tuesday, he advised reporters he’s “assured” they’ll stop a disaster.
“I requested the 4 high leaders in Congress whether or not they’d be prepared to are available and discuss what we’re going to do between now and Christmas by way of laws,” Mr. Biden mentioned Tuesday. “And there’s a lot to do, together with resolving the practice strike … And Congress I feel has to act to stop it. It’s not a simple name, however I feel we now have to do it.”
After the assembly, Pelosi mentioned Democrats would carry the union settlement to the House ground on Wednesday morning, though she needs rail employees to have paid sick depart, a key sticking level for employees rejecting the settlement. Upon her return to the Capitol, she mentioned the assembly was “very optimistic” and that she hoped the House would cross the rail invoice “with a powerful bipartisan vote.”
“It is a compromise, and it’s what we should do,” she mentioned, including that there have been sufficient votes within the House for passage.
Schumer mentioned he and McConnell will work to cross the invoice “ASAP.”
The congressional leaders additionally mentioned how to fund the federal government forward of a Dec. 16 deadline. Schumer mentioned leaders within the room hope to cross a long-term, omnibus funding invoice as a substitute of funding the federal government with a short-term, persevering with decision.
“There was good will within the room and a need to come collectively and clear up this drawback,” Schumer mentioned of presidency funding.
The White House mentioned the president “advised his Republican colleagues that no matter disagreements they could have, he’s at all times fascinated by discovering new frequent floor, and that he has an open door to hear their views about doing so.”
Congress’ prolonged to-do listing additionally features a vote Tuesday on ultimate passage of the theto shield same-sex and interracial marriages. Lawmakers additionally should cross an annual protection authorization invoice, and Democrats hope to finalize a bipartisan invoice to reform how Congress counts electoral votes.
On the rail entrance, some Republicans are starting to voice their opposition to congressional intervention, saying the events ought to return to the negotiating desk and “strike a good deal that employees can settle for,” as Florida’s Sen. Marco Rubio put it.
“Just as a result of Congress has the authority to impose a heavy-handed resolution doesn’t imply we must always,” Rubio mentioned in a press release Tuesday. “It is mistaken for the Biden administration, which has failed to combat for employees, to ask Congress to impose a deal the employees themselves have rejected.”
Next 12 months’s management is not settled within the House. Pelosi introduced after the midterm elections that she is not going to search a job in management within the subsequent Congress, though she’ll stay in workplace. Instead, she has rallied round a number of Democrats to take over the celebration management,. McCarthy received the GOP nominee for speaker, but it surely stays to be seen whether or not he’ll appeal to he wants to take the gavel in January.
Gillian Morley and Zachary Hudak contributed to this report.