Ascendant left freezes Biden agenda: The Note

Bernie Sanders is still saying a $2 trillion budget compromise won't be enough.

The TAKE with Rick Klein

If Democrats suffered a setback through the blown deadlines and finger-pointing of the last week, a big segment of the party isn't acting like it.

"We have the American people very, very strongly on our side. We've got the president of the United States on our side," Sanders told Jonathan Karl on ABC's "This Week."

What counts as the other side in this formulation is a relatively modest group of moderates. That includes two now-well-known senators and a larger group of lesser-known House members, many of whom are livid that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blew through two deadlines to push an infrastructure vote to the end of October.

Some of those moderates are facing online backlash and in-person protests. But negotiations aren't on equal footing when one side is willing to walk away entirely.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., said pulling the bipartisan bill was "inexcusable" and "erodes that trust." Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-NJ, is blaming a "small faction" he said was using "Freedom Caucus tactics," while Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., called the delay a function of progressives' "misguided effort to gain 'leverage.'"

Biden cast last week's failures as a simple matter. "There's not the votes," he said in part over the weekend. That still has to change for Democrats -- and a portion of the party that has long been skeptical of Biden remains in the driver's seat.

The RUNDOWN with Averi Harper

Thousands of demonstrators descended on the nation's capital calling on lawmakers to protect the right to abortion. The 2021 Women's March essentially served as a precursor to high-stakes court battles on the issue this fall.

The nation's highest court will begin its fall term Monday amid plunging public approval. In December, the conservative-leaning Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case on Mississippi's abortion law this fall. The state of Mississippi is seeking reversal of Roe v. Wade. The decision could determine the fate of the 1973 court precedent that guarantees the right to an abortion.

Additionally, the Justice Department's lawsuit against the state of Texas for its restrictive abortion law is ongoing. A federal judge heard arguments Friday to determine if enforcement of a near-total abortion ban should be halted while courts decide on the constitutionality of the law.

The efforts to protect Roe v. Wade could also come out of Congress. According to the Associated Press, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, told a crowd in her home state that the Texas abortion law is "extreme, inhumane and unconstitutional."

The Republican lawmaker said she's working across the aisle to codify the the reproductive right, though she didn't disclose which lawmakers are partnering with her.

The TIP with Alisa Wiersema

As several high-profile Republicans begin tiptoeing the periphery of 2024 possibilities, the party's most influential member is firing a warning shot that could complicate the primaries. In an interview with Yahoo Finance, former President Donald Trump spoke confidently -- albeit noncommittally -- about his prospects as a candidate if he were to run for another term.

"If I do run, I think that I'll do extremely well," Trump said. Asked how he would feel about going head-to-head with one of his most loyal political allies, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Trump said he would beat him.

"I don't think I will face him ... I don't see that. I think most people would drop out. I think he would drop out. And if I faced him, I would beat him like I would beat everyone else, frankly," the former president asserted.

The hypothetical matchup would present a test of personality rather than policy given that both DeSantis and Trump have taken similar policy positions on a range of issues including immigration and COVID-19 restrictions. Earlier this year, the two Republicans led the Conservative Political Action Committee's straw poll as the favored 2024 presidential nominees, but DeSantis, who is up for reelection next year, recently called the speculation surrounding his possible presidential run "purely manufactured" and "nonsense."


ABC News' "Start Here" Podcast. Monday morning's episode begins with a preview of the Supreme Court's new term and ABC News' Linsey Davis talks about her interview with the woman known for years as "Baby Roe." Then, ABC News' Sony Salzman explains new data about a daily pill that could be used to fight COVID-19. And, ESPN's Julie Foudy breaks down the scandal surrounding the National Women's Soccer League.


  • President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden return to the White House from Wilmington, Delaware, at 10:30 a.m. Then, at 11:15, Biden delivers remarks "on the need to raise the debt ceiling, after Senate Republicans voted twice last week to default" in the State Dining Room.
  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken travels to Paris ahead of the Ministerial Council Meeting of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
  • The Supreme Court convenes at 10 a.m. to hear oral arguments in two cases.
  • The Senate convenes at 3 p.m.
  • Attorney General Merrick Garland participates in a virtual conversation with The New Yorker's chief Washington correspondent, Jane Mayer, at 5 p.m. as part of The New Yorker Festival.
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