Kelsey Snell

Updated January 20, 2022 at 6:57 PM ET

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is defending his decision to hold failed votes on voting rights legislation and changing the filibuster as a necessary step in holding Republicans and members of his own party accountable for their votes.

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A MARTINEZ, HOST:

Updated January 13, 2022 at 4:52 PM ET

Democrats in Washington are beginning to accept the reality that they do not have the votes to pass President Biden's long-shot effort to enact new voting rights bills.

President Biden traveled to Capitol Hill on Thursday in an attempt to sway Sens. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., and Joe Manchin, D.-W.Va., to agree to change the Senate filibuster in order to pass the legislation.

Biden conceded after the closed-door meeting that his efforts likely were not enough.

Democrats plan to force votes this week on a package of voting rights legislation that is meant to make a public example of Republican opposition to election protections.

The legislation has virtually no path to becoming law, but the debate itself is again drawing attention to the battle among Republicans over whether to move on from the 2020 election and lies about who won.

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Updated December 16, 2021 at 7:23 PM ET

President Biden in a Thursday evening statement acknowledged the roadblocks his nearly $2 trillion social spending package faced, saying that it could take weeks before the package was ready for a vote. Still, he said he would continue to push for the bill to get enough Democratic support to pass through the Senate.

The House voted 221 to 209 early Wednesday morning to increase the federal borrowing limit by $2.5 trillion, a figure Democrats say will allow the government to avoid default until early 2023.

The measure, which was approved almost entirely along party lines, means Congress will likely avoid any major debt limit debates until after the 2022 midterm elections. Whichever party controls Congress after the midterms will have to determine how to address the issue or face the threat of federal default.

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Democrats have staked their political future on enacting President Biden's plans for trillions in social spending, but a new NPR/Marist poll shows that most voters are skeptical of the party's proposals.

Americans don't feel the direct payments or expanded child tax credits doled out earlier this year helped them much, according to the latest NPR/Marist poll, and they don't see Democrats' signature legislation as addressing their top economic concern — inflation.

President Biden has signed legislation to keep the government funded through Feb. 18, clearing the way for Congress to focus on a daunting year-end to-do list.

Congress has less than three weeks to resolve differences that have plagued both parties for the entire year.

Updated November 22, 2021 at 7:55 PM ET

The House voted on near-party lines Friday morning to approve a roughly $2 trillion social and climate spending package, ending months of squabbles among Democrats over the details of the far-reaching measure.

The vote was 220-213, with one Democrat, Rep. Jared Golden of Maine, joining all Republicans in opposition.

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NOEL KING, HOST:

Disappointing results for Democrats in this week's elections, like losing the governor's race in Virginia, may have lit a fire under them. At least, President Biden hopes so. He said yesterday, voters want Democrats to, quote, "get things done."

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Last night was rough for Democrats.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED JOURNALIST #1: Democrats are waking up. This is a gut punch.

Updated October 28, 2021 at 1:57 PM ET

House Democrats are racing to resolve an internal battle over the process for passing trillions of dollars in spending after a personal plea from President Biden for members of his party to unite behind a $1.75 trillion social spending bill and a separate $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill.

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