President Joe Biden is reportedly seeking to unite both factions of his fractured party on the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill which includes many of his most ambitious promises including paid leave, universal pre-K, free community college, combating climate change, funding childcare, and healthcare, and expanding Medicare. 

Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., have been reluctant to pass a bill with another large price tag after citing the trillions of dollars that have already been spent during the pandemic, most of which benefited large corporations.  

Progressives on the other hand have been adamant they will vote to kill the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that passed the Senate in August if the reconciliation bill does not pass as well. Lawmakers such as Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., believe passing a human infrastructure bill to improve the quality of life of all Americans is just as important as improving the country’s roads, bridges, waterways, and broadband. 

“Rebuilding our crumbling physical infrastructure – roads, bridges, water systems – is important,” Sanders said on Twitter.

“Rebuilding our crumbling human infrastructure – healthcare, education, climate change – is more important," Sanders said. He added he opposes any infrastructure bill without the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill.

Sanders had previously called for a $6 trillion bill, and progressives view the current bill as a compromise.

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has been determined to pass both bills through the Senate and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will not let either bill come to a vote in the House until they do. 

With his ambitious economic agenda hanging in the balance, Biden will need to find a way to unite both factions of his fractured party. With an 8-seat majority in the House and a deadlocked Senate, there is no room for error. 

“We’ve labored for months and months to reach this point, and we have no illusions – maybe the hardest work is yet to come,” Schumer said. 

Natalia Salgado, director of federal affairs for the Working Families Party, noted how some economists suggest spending $10 trillion over the next decade to meet the requirements of the Paris Climate Agreement. 

“We’re going to come nowhere near that,” Salgado said. “So we can’t afford to lose a single cent in this $3.5 trillion. Every single penny will count.” 

Despite disagreements within the party, the Biden administration remains optimistic a deal can be reached.