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After weeks of rising tensions among congressional Democrats, President Joe Biden stepped in Wednesday to personally attempt to resolve divisions that were threatening to tear the Democratic caucus apart and tank the president’s first-term domestic agenda.

Biden hosted key members of at least four warring factions of congressional Democrats on Wednesday afternoon: moderates in the House, progressives in the House, moderates in the Senate and progressives in the Senate.

Biden’s goal was to broker a compromise between the different groups and to find common ground on a $1 trillion infrastructure bill and a $3 trillion-plus climate and social safety net bill.

Senators who attended the meetings later used words like “productive” and “constructive” to describe them.

“It was a very good meeting, it was a very constructive meeting,” Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. told NBC News. “The President was very engaged and involved and I think everybody could say what they felt and everybody wants to work together if they can and find a path forward.”

The White House said the meetings were “productive and candid” in a readout that was issued Wednesday night. “There is more work ahead in the coming days, and [Biden] and his team will have follow-up meetings, starting tomorrow, to continue to advance the process of passing these critical bills,” it said.

The delicate intraparty negotiations took place against the backdrop of two more looming but unrelated deadlines: a Sept. 30 deadline to fund the government or risk a shutdown, and a likely mid-October deadline to raise the debt ceiling or risk the United States defaulting on its sovereign debt.

Each of these issues, the debt ceiling and the annual government funding bill, has traditionally required high-wire negotiations between Congress and the White House. But neither of them were Biden’s priority on Wednesday.

While the specifics change hour by hour, at the heart of the tension within the Democratic caucuses is that House moderates don’t want to vote for a huge green energy and education bill until their priority — a bipartisan infrastructure bill — passes the House first.

But House progressives don’t want to vote in favor of the bipartisan infrastructure bill until their top priority, the social safety net legislation, passes the Senate.

That tension did not appear to have been resolved on Wednesday, according to the lawmakers who issued statements or spoke to press afterwards.

After a career spent negotiating bills in the Senate, Biden is no stranger to tough talks and compromise. But his style of negotiating typically relies on personal trust and long-term friendships.

After he helped to broker a compromise between Republicans and Democrats on infrastructure this summer, Biden explained that he and the senators involved “go back a long way, where we’re used to doing one thing: Give each other our word and that’s the end.”

But when it comes to key progressives in the House, Biden does not have that kind of trust.

On the contrary, many House progressives are privately skeptical of Biden’s progressive bona fides. They view him as fundamentally a centrist, someone who talks about progressive principles but who eventually compromises on those principles in order to make a deal and pass a watered-down bill.

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