(CNN)President Joe Biden will meet with Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema on Tuesday at the White House as he pushes to secure a path forward for his sweeping dual track agenda, according to a source familiar with the schedule.
Sinema is the lead Democratic negotiator in the bipartisan infrastructure talks and a critical vote on the $3.5 trillion social safety net proposal Democrats plan to move separately on their own.The bipartisan talks appeared to be teetering on the brink of failure throughout the day on Monday, with both sides trading public blame for a series of outstanding issues in the negotiations. The day also marked the latest in a series of missed deadlines as agreements on various policy items remained outstanding. But White House officials, behind the scenes, pressed members of the group to cool the tensions — and continue moving forward in the efforts to turn a $1.2 trillion framework into actual legislation that can be considered by the Senate, according to multiple sources.Members of the group, in a Monday evening meeting, also made clear they remained committed to finding a path forward toward a final agreement. It’s something that appeared to have at least some effect, sources involved in the talks said. Read MoreSenate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday that senators are “making good progress” along both of the tracks to laid out to advance Biden’s economic agenda. The New York Democrat repeated his warning that he may keep the chamber in session through the weekend — an effort to maintain pressure on the bipartisan talks as the participants inch toward an agreement.Biden’s meeting with Sinema appeared to underscore that point to a degree, with the source saying the discussion would center on shared confidence in getting a final agreement over the finish line in the near term based on the most recent talks.But Biden’s move to meet directly and in person with one of the leading players in the talks underscores the stakes of the moment — and just how critical Sinema, who has made clear she wants the bipartisan package to move forward, is to his agenda. Biden also met with Sinema at the White House last month as the two worked toward the eventual agreement on the infrastructure framework. Within days, that deal was clinched. But the meeting comes as some Democrats, anxious to push forward and wary of the GOP commitment to a final agreement, have made clear their patience is running thin. Several Democrats have raised concerns about the amount of time the bipartisan talks have taken — and the fact they haven’t reached an outcome to this point — to reporters on Monday. The delay has raised anxiety among some members, particularly progressives, that the talks may fall apart and serve only to delay work on moving the Democrat-only package. Biden has made clear, both publicly and privately, he’s committed to the group and the agreement the parties reached on the framework in June, officials said.There are multiple reasons, the officials say. They include Biden’s fierce belief that a significant bipartisan agreement would send an important signal, both domestically and internationally, about the ability of the government to make progress across party lines in a polarized time.But there’s also the issue of simple math, officials acknowledge. Sinema and Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, have made clear they have no appetite to move forward on the Democrat-only package without a bipartisan agreement. “I would say that if the bipartisan infrastructure bill falls apart, everything falls apart,” Manchin told reporters on Monday. “If one falls part, how do you do the other one, how does the other become more important?” White House officials are keenly aware that without Manchin or Sinema, they simply don’t have the votes to move forward on the second piece of Biden’s agenda, which Democrats plan to move through a budget mechanism that allows for passage on a simple majority basis, in a 50-50 Senate.