Progressives call another Biden-Pelosi bluff: The Note

The president made the stakes clear before the deadline was blown.

October 29, 2021, 6:01 AM

The TAKE with Rick Klein

President Joe Biden made clear the stakes for Democrats just before another legislative deadline was officially blown.

Biden told lawmakers privately on Thursday that his agenda and his party's hold on the House and the Senate could all be on the line as they work toward a final deal. Publicly, just before leaving for Europe, he both announced that an "economic framework" was agreed to and implored his fellow Democrats to support it.

"The agenda that's in these bills," Biden said, "is what 81 million Americans voted for."

It was a gamble and a dare offered up by the White House -- a calculation that Democrats wouldn't risk the fallout associated with failure. But while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi implored her colleagues to join her in trusting Biden, the mistrust between progressives and moderates remains strong.

Biden could not and did not guarantee that all 50 Democratic senators will support the social-spending package. He also did not explicitly ask House progressives to vote for the infrastructure package, a point key lawmakers picked up on.

Progressives again pushed back, and the House vote was shelved again, until at least next week.

An exceedingly messy period for Democrats could get uglier still. The next appeals for party unity will be taking place around the same time that two major races for governor put the Biden approach to governance to critical tests.

The RUNDOWN with Averi Harper

New York's field of Democratic gubernatorial candidates remains up in the air, but there are a few candidates poised to challenge acting Gov. Kathy Hochul, who early in her tenure said she would run for reelection.

Attorney General Letitia James is expected to announce a run in the coming days. If elected, James would make history as the first Black woman governor in the country.

PHOTO: In this May 21, 2021, file photo, New York State Attorney General, Letitia James, speaks during a news conference in New York.
In this May 21, 2021, file photo, New York State Attorney General, Letitia James, speaks during a news conference in New York.
Brendan McDermid/Reuters, FILE

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams is also reportedly eyeing a run. Williams' current role is widely considered a launching pad to higher office -- both James and Mayor Bill de Blasio previously held the post.

The progressive and Democratic Socialist has formed a committee to explore a gubernatorial run while he simultaneously campaigns to be reelected to his current position. De Blasio, the outgoing mayor, is also said to be considering a run.

Among the Republicans vying for a chance to helm the Empire State are Rep. Lee Zeldin and Andrew Giuliani, son of Donald Trump adviser and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

As the race heats up, disgraced former Gov. Andrew Cuomo is back in the headlines. He's now facing a misdemeanor charge of forcible touching in Albany county.

The TIP with Alisa Wiersema

In Virginia, former President Donald Trump continues to actively loom over the last campaign weekend before Election Day. In a statement sent out Wednesday, Trump thanked his supporters in Arlington, while adding a cryptic "see you soon" to the end of the message -- alluding to a virtual appearance on the campaign trail for Republican Glenn Youngkin that was reported by the Associated Press.

Democrats are interpreting the comment as the latest example of Trump looking to utilize the gubernatorial race to keep momentum going for a possible 2024 presidential run. The Terry McAuliffe campaign even referenced the statement in a Thursday fundraising email that alluded to the threat of Republicans gaining ground with the subject line, "We are TIED and Trump is coming."

PHOTO: Donald Trump holds a Save America Rally at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, Oct. 9, 2021, in Des Moines, Iowa.
Donald Trump holds a Save America Rally at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, Oct. 9, 2021, in Des Moines, Iowa.
Brian Cahn/ZUMA Wire via Newscom

Navigating the campaign trail in Virginia -- a state currently led by Democrats and one Trump lost in November -- while in the shadow of Trump has been a tricky endeavor for Youngkin. Earlier this month, the former president called into a rally for Youngkin's campaign, but the candidate was not in attendance, citing a scheduling conflict.

During the primary, Trump did not endorse Youngkin until after he beat out three other Republicans. But if Youngkin comes out on top Tuesday, Trump is sure to claim the victory as evidence of his impact on Republicans despite Youngkin's attempts to distance himself from the former president on the campaign trail.


ABC News' "Start Here" Podcast. Friday morning's features Facebook shifting focus to the "metaverse" in the shadow of mounting controversies. WIRED Editor at Large Steven Levy starts us off with what's behind the name change. Then, President Biden announces a framework agreement on a social spending bill, but there's still a lot of negotiating to do among Democrats, says ABC News' Trish Turner. And, ABC News' Evan Simon reports on a controversial pipeline project with exclusive on the ground access for "Nightline."


  • President Joe Biden receives the president's daily brief from Rome on Friday at 9:45 a.m. local time. Then he and first lady Jill Biden visit Vatican City and have an audience with Pope Francis at 12 p.m. local time. The president holds a bilateral meeting with the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, at 12:55 p.m. local time. The Bidens then return to Rome, where the president holds a bilateral meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella at Quirinale Palace at 1:55 p.m. local time. He holds a bilateral meeting with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi at Chigi Palace in Rome at 3:15 p.m. local time. Lastly, he holds a bilateral meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Embassy of France in Rome at 4:15 p.m. local time.
  • Vice President Kamala Harris and musician Pharrell Williams campaign Friday with Virginia's Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe in Norfolk at 3 p.m. ET.
  • Republican nominee for governor of Virginia Glenn Youngkin campaigns in Ruckersville and Warrenton on Friday at 4:45 p.m. and 7 p.m. ET, respectively. On Saturday, Youngkin campaigns across the state and holds an early vote rally in Fairfax at 7 p.m. ET. On Sunday, Youngkin holds an early vote rally in Washington County at 6:45 p.m. ET.
  • Jack Ciattarelli, the GOP gubernatorial nominee in New Jersey, campaigns across the state Friday through Sunday, including a get out the vote rally in Sussex County on Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET and one in Medford at 5:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.
  • On Saturday, Sen. Tim Kaine campaigns across Virginia with McAuliffe in Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Williamsburg, plus other stops, at 8:45 a.m., 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. ET, respectively.
  • Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison campaigns for McAuliffe across Virginia on Saturday, including a canvass for Democrats down the ballot with Rep. Barbara Lee in Manassas Park.
  • On Sunday, McAuliffe holds a get out the vote event in Henrico at 1:45 p.m. ET and attends the Leesburg Halloween parade at 5 p.m. ET.
  • Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., gives a keynote address at the National Conservatism Conference in Orlando, Florida, on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET.
  • Sunday on ABC's "This Week": The Powerhouse Roundtable discusses all the week's politics with former New Jersey Governor and ABC News Contributor Chris Christie, ABC News Congressional Correspondent Rachel Scott, former Florida Congresswoman and former HHS Secretary Donna Shalala and POLITICO White House Correspondent Laura Barrón-López.
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