White House pushed behind scenes for Senate win

President Biden is closing in on a legacy-defining win in Congress with the passage of a climate and health care bill in the Senate, a process officials say was not just months, but years in the making.

While hopes of passing Biden’s agenda appeared dead just a few weeks ago, the president and White House officials quietly worked behind the scenes to help revive talks and ultimately get negotiations in the Senate over the finish line, an administration official said.


Biden’s activity: Over the weekend, while the Senate was working through a very long series of votes to approve the package, Biden called roughly a dozen senators and called the cloak room, an administration source told The Hill. The White House legislative team also delivered White House cookies to members on Sunday.


That followed several months of engagement between senior White House aides and Capitol Hill to get the reconciliation deal passed.


Quieter approach: Rather than going on offense against Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) appearing to reject much of the package last month, the White House opted for a quieter approach. Officials did not offer any rebuttal to Manchin, nor would they confirm any communications between the president and members of the Senate about the status of Biden’s agenda.