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Is Biden Over-Negotiating?

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris during a meeting with the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Executive Committee in the Oval Office, Thursday, April, 15, 2021.  (Photo by Doug Mills/The New York Times)
President Joe Biden meets with members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Executive Committee in the Oval Office at the White House on April 15, 2021. (Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)
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May 10, 2021 4:21 p.m.

Sen. Bernie Sanders has signaled an increasing unease at the way the Biden White House is negotiating with Republicans about the size and scope of a major national infrastructure plan – now going under the heading of the American Jobs Plan (hard infrastructure) and the American Family Plan (caring economy). I’m inclined to agree with Sanders, though this is one of those difficult cases in which it’s hard to know really what is happening because real negotiations are behind closed doors and difficult to interpret. Do Biden and his top aides really think they can get to a good bill with Republicans or are they working through a process, which they assume will fail, to put a 50 vote Democratic bill on the best footing?

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