Members of President Biden's economic team have been working the phones contacting the nine moderate House Democrats who make up the so-called "mod squad" that are in a standoff with the White House and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a source familiar confirmed to FOX Business Monday.
The members are pledging to withhold their votes on the party's proposed $3.5 trillion budget framework until the bipartisan infrastructure bill is passed first by the lower chamber. But the vote on the $3.5 trillion package is slated for Tuesday, and it doesn't appear that Democrats have the votes despite holding the majority. So, the administration is stepping in to try to twist arms.
The source said that White House legislative affairs chief Louisa Terrell, Deputy Director Shuwanza Goff, National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Office of Management and Budget deputy director Shalanda Young, Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack have all had calls with members urging the lawmakers to support the rule proposed by Pelosi while also hearing the members out.
The group of moderate Democrats who are digging in their heels are Reps. Carolyn Bourdeaux of Georgia, Ed Case of Hawaii, Jim Costa of California, Henry Cuellar of Texas, Jared Golden of Maine, Vicente Gonzalez of Texas, Josh Gottheimier of New Jersey, Kurt Schrader of Oregon and Filemon Vela of Texas.
News of the administration's phone campaign to convince the "mod squad" to step in line with the party comes after the group wrote an op-ed published by The Washington Post on Sunday, wherein they argued their position of voting on the infrastructure bill first before tackling the budget resolution.
White House spokesman Andrew Bates also confirmed to FOX Business that Biden does not want what the "mod squad" has implied – a swift vote on the infrastructure bill before the $3.5 trillion budget.
Bates confirms the statement first given to NBC News on the matter, saying the president supports Pelosi’s approach.
"He has been clear that he wants both bills on his desk and that he looks forward to signing each," Bates said of Biden. "He supports Speaker Pelosi’s approach to the Rule because it provides for consideration of the Build Back Better agenda, the historic bipartisan infrastructure bill, and critical voting rights legislation."
Yet, the "mod squad" pointed out in their piece that Biden himself asked for quick passage from the House on the infrastructure bill after the Senate passed it.
The lawmakers wrote, "The challenge we face right now is that there is a standoff with some of our colleagues who have decided to hold the infrastructure bill hostage for months, or kill it altogether, if they don’t get what they want in the next bill — a largely undefined $3.5 trillion reconciliation package."
FOX Business reporter Hillary Vaughn contributed to this report.