In what could be the most important scope of his presidency, Joe Biden We are facing an autumn sprint to advance the once-in-a-generation expansion of social safety nets.
With Biden in the coming weeks Democratic Party Capitol Hill attempts to legislate the president’s trillion-dollar economic vision through Congress. Due to the narrow action window, there is little room for error.
If they fail, the party will face voters in 2022 and can barely show for the two years that rule the parliament.
If successful, the Democratic Party will bring a legislative victory that defines heritage, reflecting the New Deal under Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the great society under Lyndon Johnson.
“I think this is a potentially big change moment,” Biden said last week. “This is our moment to bring working people back into the economy.“
He spoke the day after finishing the drafting of a huge legislation that Democrats in the House of Representatives want to pass through Congress. Pursuing a dangerous two-track approach, they are linking $ 1 trillion in bipartisan infrastructure transactions to a $ 3.5 trillion party line package that includes Democratic policy priorities.
Infrastructure bill passed it Last month the Senate gained extraordinary bipartisan support. Democrats are trying to protect their spending packages using a special process, reconciliation. This protects you from blocking by the Senate Republicans.
Achieving this would require the votes of all Democrats in the 50-50 Senate and almost every Democrat in the House of Representatives. It gives each member great power.
Two Democratic senators opposed the scale of social spending plans to expand health care and childcare and spend $ 3.5 trillion over a decade to combat the climate crisis.In the house, there is an arrangement between the party’s moderates and progressives Can be compared To “mutual assured destruction”.
The vulnerable alliance will face initial testing on September 27, and House will vote for a $ 1 billion bipartisan bill to fund road, broadband and other infrastructure projects. Progressive has vowed to upset measures if it is not given a firm guarantee that a huge policy bill will reach Biden’s desk.
The legislative battle will challenge Biden as a faction leader and as an experienced parliamentary trader.Last week when Congress faced a dizzying array of financial and legislative deadlines To avoid government closure And in default, he showed that he was ready to walk deeper.
The president held a “productive” meeting with two senators involved in the policy package. Joe Manchin, West Virginia Kyrsten Cinema in Arizona. He then called Senator Chuck Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Then, on Sunday, the website Axios, as if Biden completely explained the dangerous ground on which he had to walk. report Manchin wanted to suspend the spending bill until the New Year.
Jonathan Alter, FDR, Obama, Recently Jimmy CarterSaid Biden was uniquely qualified to play his new role after cutting transactions in the Senate for 36 years and conducting eight major legislative negotiations as Vice President of Barack Obama. The difference is that it is the legacy of his president.
“As the great political scientist Richard Neustadt said, the only real power the president of the United States has is the power to convince,” Alter said. “I’ll see how powerful he is in the next few weeks.”
“Meaning of being a parent”
The intensity of the debate primarily reflects the ambitions of spending proposals. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who oversees the package as chair of the Budget Committee, calls it “the most important law since the 1930s and the FDR and New Deal.”
On the other side of the spectrum, former George Bush chief strategy officer Karl Rove warning Republican law will create a “welfare state from the cradle to the graveyard.”
The plan will touch almost every aspect of life. It includes key initiatives in childcare, social welfare, education, health care, immigration, labor and climate change, mostly funded by tax increases for businesses and the wealthiest Americans.
Biden argues that democracy itself is at stake. He said spending and infrastructure bills would provide a generational opportunity to demonstrate that “American democracy can be achieved” rather than a dictatorship like China.
Progressivists have been encouraged by Biden’s explicit condemnation of the free market and small government practices that have been rocking since the days of Ronald Reagan.
Susanne Kahn, managing director of research and policy at the Roosevelt Institute, a think tank advocating progressive economic policy, said the law at hand is “truely transformative” for millions of people. Said there is a possibility.
“Universal Pre-K, Child Tax Credits, Free Community Colleges-These are all visible policies that really change the economics of parenting in the United States,” she said.
But some economists, almost everyone Republican And even a few Democrats are worried that the coronavirus bailout package will inject trillions of dollars into the economy months after doing the same.
Michael Strain, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute, a right-wing think tank, warned that spending packages could hurt economic recovery.
“If you push the economy too much and raise consumer prices, you’re actually detrimental to low-income households by reducing the purchasing power of low-income households,” he said. “From that point of view, I think the adjustment package is counterproductive.”
Biden said last week that the federal bailout bill, which is said to have reduced poverty during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, accounts for most of job growth and other economic benefits. But Biden argued that more was needed to remove the structural barriers that had hampered many people, especially women and people of color.
In a speech last week, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said affordable childcare is “as essential as infrastructure and energy.”
The first woman to lead the Treasury in 232 years of history said, “Without a good babysitter 40 years ago, I wouldn’t know if I would be here for this job today.”
Activists are working on building support. Polls show that spending plans are popular, including among independents and a significant number of Republicans. In August, a coalition of progressive groups began selling the plan. They were surprised to find the almost organized opposition.
“People want these reforms,” said adviser Stephanie Cutter. Build together, An external group promoting Biden’s agenda.
“They want jobs, better roads and bridges, safer drinking water, lower costs for childcare, paid vacation, and middle class tax cuts. All these things, better yet, affect middle class families and they want these things. That’s why they are so popular and that’s why they fight That’s why it’s so difficult. “
“Good policy is good politics”
Nevertheless, the battle will be fierce. While Republicans are attacking Democratic spending plans, well-funded business groups are ready to spend millions of dollars against tax changes.
“If you own a house, drive a car, or breathe air, be prepared to increase taxes and spending,” said Lindsey Graham, Republican Senator on the Budget Committee. The senator warned.
Combining most of Biden’s national agenda into one package is a risk. Internal disputes can stall or upset the bill.
Last week, three Democrats from the House Energy and Commerce Committee joined the Republican Party and voted against a proposal by the pharmaceutical industry to give Medicare the power to negotiate prescription drug prices.
The setback emphasized future challenges.
“The best policy the Democrats have is to understand that good policy is good politics,” Sanders said. Said NPR. “When you stand up for a working family, when you stand up to protect our children and future generations from the devastation of the climate, not only is that right, but Americans will reward you. “
Biden knows that the fate of spending plans shows the extent of his power – and defines his legacy | Joe Biden
Source link Biden knows that the fate of spending plans shows the extent of his power – and defines his legacy | Joe Biden