Crunch time: Biden faces critical next 2 weeks for agenda

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President Joe Biden is entering two weeks crucial to his ambitious agenda, racing to end controversial congressional talks before the domestic deadline and offering a chance to showcase his administration’s achievements on a global scale.

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Biden and his fellow Democrats are struggling to bridge the intrapartisan divide by the end of the month to pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill and a massive social services package. The president expects the two world leaders to head to summits, including the most ambitious climate change meeting in years, before the Air Force leaves for Europe on October 28.

But that goal has been jeopardized by fractures among Democrats, jeopardizing the fate of promising new efforts to tackle climate change. There is also growing concern within the party about a Belvedere gubernatorial contest in Virginia and a Senate battle over federal debt limits and government funding that could distract from getting the president’s agenda to the finish line.


Biden is trying to stabilize his presidency after a difficult stretch following the difficult end of the Afghanistan war, a diplomatic dispute with a longtime ally, and a surge in COVID-19 cases that have stymied the country’s economic recovery. Di and sent his voting numbers faltering.

His team has continued its strategy — one that followed during the campaign and earlier this year — to focus on a singular mission to stave off outside noise, this time to pass a two-part package that Democrats will give a platform to Which will run in the mid-term elections to be held next year.

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“These bills, in my view, are literally about competition versus complacency, about opportunity versus decay, and about leading the world or letting the world lead by us,” Biden said Friday while pushing legislation in Connecticut. said.

Yet under the White House’s pleas for patience — reminding people that tough things take time — there’s a bubbling sense of urgency that a deal needs to be done swiftly.

There are clear target dates for the White House, including a month-end deadline on transportation funding and Biden’s upcoming travel abroad. But there are more pressing imperatives: Proving Democrats can deliver on their promises to voters and protect Biden’s dwindling political capital.

Two White House officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized, with new urgency, the administration has sent signals to Capitol Hill in recent days that it is time to end talks. Discuss private conversations in public. Officials said Biden himself has expressed impatience and will this week extend his personal reach to persuade lawmakers to compromise and vote on the bills.

West Wing officials are still optimistic that a settlement will eventually be struck, but also fear that the messy, drawn-out negotiations have tarnished the tangible benefits of Biden’s purpose to deliver voters.

Biden sought to address some of them when he traveled to Hartford, Connecticut last week, to show off initiatives to sharply reduce the cost of childhood care — perhaps one of the only pieces of legislation that will last. There is a lock to make the package.

Even Democratic leaders are divided on the best way to lower the package’s overall price tag to win more votes. Biden said on Friday he preferred to include all wish-list proposals, but reduce the length of programs to cut costs. His thinking is that a future Congress might vote later to expand programs that the American people would find popular.

But a few days ago, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested the opposite – approving a narrower set of programs to run longer.

Some Democrats have insisted on passing a bipartisan infrastructure deal by October 31 even if the larger social services package is not settled, a move many progressives dislike because they could lose benefits to the latter bill. Huh.

The fate of climate change provisions is particularly alarming.

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin’s objections to a program aimed at spurring the country’s transition away from fossil fuels to tackle climate change just before he tries to claim US leadership on the issue at an upcoming global conference in Scotland. threatens the heart of Biden’s plans.

Democrats’ extremely thin margins in both houses of Congress have empowered individual lawmakers, such as Manchin and Arizona Sen. Kirsten Cinema, to harass fellow lawmakers and the White House. White House aides have not abandoned the clean energy program but are looking for alternative means to tie together a mix of policies to cut emissions, officials said.

The abandonment of the provisions could wound Biden at a summit in Glasgow, which the administration has called to not only tackle climate change but also to re-establish US leadership on the issue after a four-year layoff under President Donald Trump. regarded as an important occasion. The United States will bring a major footprint to the gathering – including former President Barack Obama – but it risks falling behind European countries that have taken more concrete steps to cut emissions.

Biden’s stop in Scotland in early November will follow his participation in a summit of world leaders in Rome. But Chinese President Xi Jinping’s decision to skip the gatherings – delaying the first meeting between the leaders of the two superpowers – could undermine their relevance. Nevertheless, Biden is expected to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron in Italy as the men seek to repair ties after a US submarine deal with Australia scuttled a French contract and briefly led the French …


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