Back home: Biden has daunting to-do list after European tour


President Joe Biden faces a formidable to-do list now that he is back from his summit-ridden trip to Europe, with legislative challenges, foreign policy to follow and the need to reopen the country as The risk of coronovirus is reduced.

His overseas tour was meant to showcase America’s return to global leadership – a central pledge of Biden’s 2020 campaign for the White House – but now he faces a turning point in securing the other planks of his agenda. is. From voting rights and immigration to his big legislation on jobs and infrastructure, Biden is trying to do as much as he can in Congress before the start of the August recess.

“I think we — the country, have put a different face on where we are and where we are going,” Biden told reporters in Geneva late Wednesday on his way back to Washington. “And I feel good about it.”

It has been a start-and-stop process on many of Biden’s priorities on Capitol Hill, where Democrats hold a majority, but only by the narrowest margin. He is reaching for bipartisan deals with Republicans, as well as moving forward with his party’s go-it-alone strategy, a two-pronged approach focusing exclusively on his larger infrastructure investment plan. is.

Other legislation, on voting rights, police reform and immigration, will require support from Republicans in the Senate, and those and other issues are under negotiation as bipartisan groups of lawmakers press for compromises while on the legislative calendar. Days last.

Negotiations on immigration have all come to a standstill, and Democrats are now eyeing some immigration law changes to overhaul the infrastructure, relying on budget rules to pass a majority without requiring Republican votes. will allow. Negotiations on police reform are still ongoing, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also said Thursday, “It is challenging.”

Still, Biden enters the legislative struggle from a position of strength. A new poll conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, while he was abroad, found that 55% of Americans approve of his handling of his job as president.

The White House believes Biden’s proposals are widely popular in the country, if not on Capitol Hill, and is betting that lawmakers will be brought up with a combination of cajoling and the president’s bullying pulpit. could.

Biden is expected to resume regular domestic travel to promote the infrastructure law and continue his behind-the-scenes engagement with lawmakers on other issues where his public participation may not be as productive.

An AP-NORC poll conducted ahead of Biden’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin found half his approval of his handling of foreign policy as well as his handling of US relations with Russia. Sixty-eight percent approve of his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic – his strongest issue during his presidency so far.

While Biden was away, a new round of bipartisan infrastructure talks intensified as a growing group of 21 senators fine-tune their $1 trillion plan to meet a long-overlooked national priority. At the same time, Senate Democrats under budget committee chairman Bernie Sanders plotted a $6 trillion go-it-alone approach.

Biden, who has been going back and forth abroad, was briefed Thursday about the measures at the White House as the president plans to assess the possibility of a bipartisan deal next week, an administration official said.

The White House sought to maintain momentum for the president’s legislative agenda while he was away – specifically the infrastructure bill – by deploying cabinet secretaries across the country and for meetings on Capitol Hill.

Biden’s aides have held more than 130 calls or meetings with lawmakers and staff about the infrastructure proposal and a dozen staff briefings for aides on both sides.

Meanwhile, senior aides of Biden are working with both Democrats and Republicans on a bipartisan deal as well as in constant dialogue with progressive lawmakers working on the party’s ‘Plan B’.

At the same time, Biden returned to the US with a plethora of new initiatives from his talks with allies and opponents.

They must meet their commitment to share 80 million COVID-19 vaccine doses with the world by the end of this month, while drawing up a plan to meet their pledge to share 500 million more in the next year. White House COVID coordinator Jeff Gents said Thursday that the administration will unveil recipients of those 80 million doses in the coming days, as the US works through diplomatic and logistical hurdles to send vaccines overseas as quickly as possible.

After securing a deal with the European Union to end a 16-year dispute over commercial airliners, Biden said he is now trying to bring about a de-escalation in a host of other trade tensions with the bloc as he Tries to develop one more. Front to counter China’s trade practices. He has tasked US Trade Representative Catherine Tai to speed up negotiations.

And after sitting down with Putin, Biden said the next six months would determine whether a constructive partnership could be forged in areas of mutual interest, from nuclear weapons control and protecting critical infrastructure from cyberattacks to imprisoned civilians. of possible exchanges. Biden said progress on any of these fronts would be pushed forward in the coming months.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Thursday, “The president was very clear yesterday that pudding is in the food.” “This is the beginning of the story, and how the story ends will unfold here over the course of the next six months to a year, as he said.”

Credit: www.independent.co.uk / Joe Biden

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