President Joe Biden was greeted by a chorus of boos from Republicans when he made an appearance at the annual Congressional Baseball Game in Washington D.C. last night. The American leader received the mixed reception when he arrived at Nationals Park in the top of the second inning, in an attempts to garner support for a pair of multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure bills that face an uncertain future on Capitol Hill.
Biden postponed a trip he had planned to Chicago yesterday to instead continue campaigning for the passing of the bills in the House. While the last minute change in the president’s schedule garnered cheers by the Democratic side of the stadium, they were soon drowned out by boos from Republicans sitting in the first-base stands. Some of his opponents even shouted, “Joe sucks,” while others displayed banners urging the passage of the larger spending bill.
Despite the mixed initial reception, Biden still acknowledged the crowd and greeted the players. He eventually made his way into the third-base dugout, where he spoke with members of the Democratic team.
After the president initially spoke with the members of the Democratic baseball team, he chatted with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in the top of the third inning. Before the bottom of the third, Biden finished his conversation with his fellow politicians and crossed the field to greet Republican lawmakers in the first-base dugout. After speaking with members from both political parties, he left the park about an hour after he arrived.
Pelosi scheduled a vote on the legislation for today, which goes against the wishes of left-wing members of her conference. They would rather have the larger, $3.5 trillion social spending plan move through both chambers of Congress first.
However, multiple lawmakers from both parties told The New York Post last night that they believed the infrastructure bill would not come up for a House vote as scheduled today. That scenario would result in a temporary victory to the Democrats’ progressive wing.
But the Democratic party was met with a possible long-term conflict when Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said in a statement that he would not support the $3.5 trillion bill. With the Senate split 50-50, the ongoing opposition of the senator, who played a key role in negotiating the bill, harms his party’s hope to pass the spending plan without GOP support.
The Post has also reported that as of last night, between 22 and 24 Republicans were expected to support the $1.2 trillion bill, despite instructions from party leadership to oppose it. However, in light of some of the Democratic leaders’ newfound determination to follow Manchin’s lead, that number likely would not be enough to pass the bill.
Biden’s campaign to garner support for the infrastructure bills at the Congressional Baseball Game wasn’t the first time he was booed in public. On the 20th anniversary of 9/11 attacks earlier this month, he was was met with jeers by some members of the crowd as he visited a memorial event at Ground Zero in New York City. The crowd mocked the president for mishandling the Afghanistan crisis and putting the lives of Afghans in danger.
Biden was also heckled before the start of the Super Bowl game in February. The audience in Tampa, where the NFL’s biggest football game of the season was held, booed the president after he asked them to observe a moment silence for the nearly half-a-million Americans who have died from Covid-19.