9:03 A.M. EDT
Q Mr. President, what is your message to moderates who are frustrated with the delay in the vote?
THE PRESIDENT: Everybody is frustrated. It’s part of being in government — being frustrated.
Hey, look, one of the things I love about you guys — I watched the other day: “Biden vowed he’s going to do this. Biden commits…”
Biden is going to work like hell to make sure we get both of these passed, and I think we will get them passed.
Q Will there be —
THE PRESIDENT: And I’ll be on the phone with them a lot and may be meeting with some.
Q Do you think that Democrats need to go it alone and do reconciliation in order to pass — raise the debt limit?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I hope that Republicans won’t be so irresponsible as to refuse to raise the debt limit and to — and to filibuster the debt limit. That would be totally unconscionable. Never been done before. And so, I hope that won’t happen. Number one.
Number two, with regard to dealing with childcare, dealing with the tax credits for people putting in everything from solar panels on their homes to winterizing their homes — I mean, they’re making their homes so they — the windows and doors are — are solid. All those things are in that second piece of legislation. And I’m going to be going around the country, this week, making the case why that’s so important.
Look, it’s understandable. There’s an awful lot that’s in both of these bills that everybody thinks they know, but they don’t know what’s in them. I — when you — when you go out and you test each of the individual elements in the bill, everyone is for them — not everyone; over 70 percent of the American people are for them.
For example, my objective here is to make sure we put in place the things that are going to make life more livable for ordinary people. I mean that sincerely. It’s not — that’s not a political statement; it’s reality. You have people — a woman trying to get back to work that has two kids, and she can’t get back unless she has adequate daycare and can afford it.
You can’t be in a situation where if you have a child — why would someone making, say, 20,000 bucks a year not get a rebate, not — not get money back from the government, just like you guys and I get when we file our taxes? We get $2,000 for every kid we have and just take it right off our taxes. But if they don’t have any taxes to pay because they don’t make any money, then they should get their direct payment back. Why should they be cheated out of that? It’s about just being fair.
There’s nothing in any of these pieces of legislation that’s radical, that is unreasonable, that is — when you look at it individually.
The problem is — you know, one of the reasons why — people said, “Well, I heard on television…” — and it wasn’t totally legit — “Why wasn’t Biden going around the country selling this before?” Well, folks, two little things like — we had hurricanes and floods, and we had little things like we ha- — anyway, a lot was going on. A lot was going on.
So, I’m going to try to sell what I think the people — American people would buy. And I’m convinced.
Q Are you confident that Senator Sinema is going —
THE PRESIDENT: I’m not — look, I’m not — you’re asking if I’m confident — okay? — am I — am I unyielding, do I commit that I’m going to do this. Come on.
I believe I can get this done. I believe, when the American people are aware what’s in it, we can get it done.
Q Do you think by Thanksgiving, sir? Do you think this could be all done by Thanksgiving?
THE PRESIDENT: I think it can be done by 2:27 a.m. on Decem- — come on. I think it will get done. Plenty of time for it to be part of changing the tax code for people next year and for giving people the breaks they need.
Q You said everyone is frustrated. How frustrated are you, Mr. President, about the delay?
THE PRESIDENT: I’m not.
Q President Biden, do you think the infrastructure plan can pass without a reconciliation framework agreed to?
THE PRESIDENT: I’m sorry?
Q Do you think the infrastructure bill can pass the House without a reconciliation framework agreement?
THE PRESIDENT: Look, I am — I’m a realist. I’ve been — I was a senator a long time. I know how legislation gets done. There is no reason why both these bills couldn’t pass independently except that there are not the votes to do it that way. It’s a simple proposition.
And so, I think it makes sense I support both of them, and I think we can get them both done.
Q Can you talk about how Democrats are united in their priorities? Have you been surprised by how difficult it has been to bring the moderates and progressives together on agreement with this?
THE PRESIDENT: We can bring the moderates and progressives together very easy if we had two more votes. Two. Two people.
9:08 A.M. EDT