Leaving a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and White House officials Monday night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi once again said that the top line would have to be below $3.5 trillion.
“I’d like to be at three and a half trillion dollars, but we’re not. The President said that,” she said, adding, “Pay attention to what the President says.”
The progressives on the call reiterated to the President earlier Monday that they remain supportive of the package and want to pass “as robust a plan as they can” through both houses of Congress, a source familiar with the call said. Another source told CNN that Democrats agreed they need to get consensus on a deal and that “something is better than nothing.”
Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal thanked Biden for “his leadership” in a statement following the meeting and reiterated that the economic spending package and the bipartisan infrastructure plan should move together.
“Progressives fought to get the full Biden agenda back on track, and now we are beginning negotiations to deliver it to working people, families, and our communities,” the Washington state Democrat said. “By ensuring both bills move forward together, we are ensuring that we don’t leave anyone behind.”
According to sources on Monday’s call, the group of lawmakers from the Congressional Progressive Caucus on the call included, among others, Jayapal; Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, the assistant speaker of the House; Mark Pocan of Wisconsin; Barbara Lee of California; Debbie Dingell of Michigan; Ritchie Torres of New York; Ro Khanna of California; Peter Welch of Vermont; Mondaire Jones of New York; Lisa Blunt Rochester of Delaware; and Peter Aguilar of California, who’s not a member of the CPC but serves as the vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus.
Two members of Congressional Progressive Caucus leadership — Deputy Chair Katie Porter of California and Whip Ilhan Omar of Minnesota — were not invited on the call.
Biden is scheduled to meet virtually with more members of the House Democratic Caucus on Tuesday.
This story has been updated with additional developments Monday.
John Harwood and Morgan Rimmer contributed to this story.