Jen Psaki Biden Europe trip delay possible to get spending deal


White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday expressed confidence that President Biden could still reach a deal with Democratic lawmakers on his economic agenda before he leaves for Europe on Thursday.

“We still have some time. The president would like a bill before he leaves for Europe,” Ms. Psaki said at the White House press briefing.

She added that a deal is “very close” and that congressional Democrats are “conveying a similar tone.”

“It does require working through specific details and components that need to be finalized before we have a final agreement,” Ms. Psaki said.

The White House’s upbeat tone comes after Mr. Biden met in the Oval Office Tuesday night with Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, two Democratic centrists who are holding up his economic spending bills.

On Wednesday, the White House dispatched National Economic Director Brian Deese, Director of Legislative Affairs Louisa Terrell, and Counselor to the president Steve Ricchetti to the Hill in hopes of striking a deal.

Ms. Psaki said the White House hasn’t ruled out a small delay in his trip to Europe if it means a deal could be reached, adding that Mr. Biden has “flexibility” in his schedule.

Mr. Biden has pushed for a deal before he heads to Rome on Thursday, where he will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican and attend a summit with other Group of 20 world leaders.

He will then depart for Glasgow, Scotland where he will attend the climate-change conference known as  COP 26.

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