Joe Biden Defends $1.75T Social Spending Plan: 'No One Got Everything They Wanted'

President Joe Biden is touting a new $1.75 trillion "framework" for his proposed massive expansion of the social safety net as a compromise after weeks of negotiations within a fractured Democratic Party in Congress, but it's unclear how far the measure will go.

"No one got everything they wanted, not even me, but that's what compromise is," Biden said during a public address from the White House on Thursday after meeting with House Democrats at the Capitol for about an hour to outline his package that includes universal pre-kindergarten, clean energy and affordable housing incentives, expanded health care benefits and other priorities. "Let's get this done."

Biden's agenda, which had has two major two proposals—the social spending plan he's dubbed Build Back Better and a separate $1.2 trillion bipartisan-backed infrastructure package for upgrades roads, bridges, broadband, ports and other priorities—has been stalled for weeks amid Democratic infighting. Moderates back the hard infrastructure bill but have expressed concerns about the scope and cost of the broader package. Meanwhile, progressives have argued that Build Back Better would be more transformative for the country and cover more of Biden's—and their—campaign promises.

At one point during the nearly 23-minute address, Biden made a direct appeal to "my Democratic colleagues"—before switching back to a more general public appeal.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, told members in Thursday's meeting with Biden that she wants to move forward with a vote on the infrastructure proposal, which has passed the Senate and just needs final approval in the House, as Biden heads to Europe for climate meetings.

But progressive Democrats in the House have vowed to block the infrastructure bill if the separate expansion of social programs, which they see as crucial, doesn't pass the Senate.

Biden was on the Hill to appease those concerns, but even after that meeting several progressives emerged unwavering in their position.

"We've been very clear—we need to see the two bills simultaneously move together," Representative Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democrat, told reporters after the meeting. "If there is urgency in getting this done, then senators need to understand that urgency as well."

Other Democrats expressed disappointment in items that had been cut in the drastically trimmed-down larger bill, which was sliced nearly in half from their original wish list. Biden's framework presented Thursday no longer includes paid family leave, prescription drug negotiations, free community college and other progressive priorities.

Representative Pramila Jayapal, a Washington Democrat who chairs the House Progressive Caucus, told reporters after the meeting that Biden didn't call for a vote Thursday.

"The speaker did, but [Biden] did not," she said. "He said he wants votes on both bills and he said that what we do on these two bills is going to be determinative for how the world sees us."

Progressives have been skeptical of conservative Democrats in the Senate who back the infrastructure bill—particularly Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona—would go through with the vote on the larger package if the House voted first.

Both Manchin and Sinema commented on the Biden framework without committing on Thursday.

Sinema called it "significant progress, while Manchin told reporters he "worked in good faith.

"I look forward to continuing working in good faith," he said.

Senator Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent who is seen as a de facto leader of progressive causes on Capitol Hill, still expressed that concern after the framework was released.

"The House should not be voting for an infrastructure bill unless they see very clear language and know that there are 50 senators on board, whatever the agreement may be," Sanders told reporters at the Capitol after Biden's departure.

Biden, Pelosi meet with Democrats on agenda
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told members in Thursday's meeting with President Joe Biden that she wants to move forward with a vote on Biden's infrastructure proposal, which has passed the Senate and just needs final approval in the House. Above, Biden and Pelosi leave a meeting with House Democrats at the U.S. Capitol on October 28, in Washington, D.C. Drew Angerer/Getty Images