Biden pairs sales pitch with victory lap: The Note

Passing the infrastructure bill didn't give Biden the party unity he needs.

November 9, 2021, 6:01 AM

The TAKE with Rick Klein

It was a win the White House hopes will change the country -- along with perceptions of the presidency.

Passing the "BIF" is not the end of the push, though. It also doesn't leave President Joe Biden any closer, necessarily, to the party unity he needs.

Biden and congressional Democrats are now in a position of explaining what it is they just passed while trying to do far more. Biden will be plugging the impact of the infrastructure bill that passed last week with an event scheduled for Wednesday in Baltimore -- even while waiting for lawmakers to return to Washington before signing the bill.

The president's message from here is that he did "exactly what he said he would do," in getting the parties to work together and also approving money to rebuild the nation's infrastructure, according to a senior administration official.

This week and beyond, though, he will continue to push for the far larger social-spending bill to also reach his desk: "He will make the case for both," the official said Monday.

All of this comes even as debate rages inside the Democratic Party about whether and how to change course after last week's election setbacks, and with uncertainties around inflation, COVID-19 and more.

The House just might still pass the mammoth social-spending bill before Thanksgiving. Yet Sen. Joe Manchin is virtually guaranteed to be in a position to demand major changes, leaving progressives in both the House and the Senate to seethe.

The center not only held but wound up delivering the key votes on infrastructure. That may be an affirmation of Biden's governing vision, but it also suggests how hard it will be to get the rest of his agenda passed.

The RUNDOWN with Averi Harper

During the congressional recess, scores of rallies are taking place in support of voting reform legislation, with participants trying to put public pressure on senators in their home states.

The events, sponsored by numerous advocacy groups and slated to take place in Washington, D.C., and 20 states around the country, aim to rally support for the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

PHOTO: People wait inside of a hotel ballroom for New Jersey Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli at his watch party on  Nov. 02, 2021, in Bridgewater, N.J.
People wait inside of a hotel ballroom for New Jersey Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli at his watch party on Nov. 02, 2021, in Bridgewater, N.J.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The rallies come less than a week after the John Lewis Voting Advancement Act failed in the Senate. It marked the fourth time that Republicans have blocked voting legislation since June.

Voting legislation needs 60 votes to avoid the filibuster, and the latest blockage is likely to reignite the conversation about doing away with the procedure.

But even if the filibuster is eliminated, Democrats still have work to do. It's not just Republicans who have refused to vote in favor of voting reform. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., a consistent spoiler of major Biden agenda items, is a holdout on this legislation, too. Three rallies for voting reform are scheduled in his home state this week.

The TIP with Meg Cunningham

Jack Ciattarelli, who ran as the GOP nominee in the New Jersey governor's race, is refusing to concede and call incumbent Gov. Phil Murphy the winner.

PHOTO: Sen. Joe Manchin speaks with reporters during a news conference on Capitol Hill, Nov. 1, 2021, in Washington, D.C.
Sen. Joe Manchin speaks with reporters during a news conference on Capitol Hill, Nov. 1, 2021, in Washington, D.C.
Alex Brandon/AP

Ciatarelli's campaign argues that although it doesn't believe counting the remaining ballots will close the 65,000-vote gap between him and Murphy, it may be enough to request a recount.

"Let me be clear, no one on this team is alleging fraud or malfeasance, as we have not seen any credible evidence of that," Ciattarelli's campaign counsel said in a statement. "At this time, we do not expect the provisional vote count to end with Jack Ciattarelli in the lead. However, that count may reduce the margin for Governor Murphy enough to warrant a full recount."

Murphy called Ciattarelli's resistance to concede "dangerous" for America and democracy.

"We are going to count every vote, that's never been in question. That's going to happen. But I think it's incredibly dangerous when it's mathematically impossible," he said Monday.


ABC News' "Start Here" Podcast. On Tuesday morning, ABC Legal Analyst Dan Abrams breaks down Travis Scott's legal responsibility in the Astroworld festival tragedy. Then, ABC's Alex Perez reports on the developments in the Rittenhouse trial. And, ABC's Linsey Davis explains how a rainforest in Alaska is central to a debate about climate change priorities.


  • President Joe Biden participates in two events with the Democratic National Committee: At 4:40 p.m. ET, he delivers remarks at a virtual grassroots event, and at 5:45 p.m. ET, he delivers remarks at a virtual fundraising reception.
  • At 1 p.m. ET, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo joins White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre for a press briefing.
  • Vice President Kamila Harris arrives in Paris at 5 a.m. ET for a five-day visit.
  • The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources holds a hearing looking at the causes and outlooks for domestic and international energy price trends at 10 a.m. ET.
  • At noon ET, the House Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion holds a hearing on eliminating barriers to economic inclusion for members of the LGBTQ community
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