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Biden's sudden stop - VG

Biden’s sudden stop – VG

Biden’s sudden stop

In the first 100 days, things got worse for Joe Biden. In express shipping, the invoice has been passed. Now the progress is gone. Biden’s reforms came to a sudden stop.


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On Tuesday, it became clear that Biden would not be able to adopt a major electoral reform due to the massive Republican opposition. Two sweeping bills related to infrastructure projects and family policy ended in a seemingly endless tug-of-war on congressional committees.

The issues that Biden wants to define his presidency are piling up. Momentum gone.

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Joe Biden. Photo: Susan Walsh/The Associated Press

Biden has ambitious plans to change America. He wants to make the United States greener by reducing dependence on fossil fuels. He will implement social reforms that will make the United States more like a European welfare state.

His political opponents call it socialism. Republicans say Biden is an instrument of radical forces that will unrecognizably change the United States.

The sting is of course not a dangerous radical. He is a pragmatic center-right politician who wants to work together across party lines to win a majority for his policies.

But he wants to implement programs that have long been on the Democrats’ wish list. This is how Biden wants to rebuild the country after the pandemic. It will also seize the opportunity presented by the crisis to implement the green transformation.

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Not surprisingly, he faces strong opposition in Congress. After 36 years of service in the Senate, Biden knows better than anyone how laws are made. He managed to get a big bailout package adopted this spring. This led to exaggerated expectations of what could have been done in such a short time.

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Joe Biden has been compared to Franklin Roosevelt, who 90 years ago embraced the Pillars of the New Deal, which were major public programs for bringing the United States out of depression.

Now the inexperienced Biden seems puzzled. He needs to speed up negotiations in Congress on his bill, preferably before elected representatives take a few weeks off. This spring, 55 percent of those surveyed thought Biden had done a good job, according to the average of fiveThirtyEight polls. Now 51.8 percent say they are happy with Biden. 42.6% are dissatisfied.

It’s a bad consolation that Donald Trump has had much less support and never reached a similar level during his presidency. Under his watch, Trump has lost both the White House and Congress, and thus is a poor measure.

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What is Biden’s problem? His party has a majority in the House of Representatives. In the Senate, Republicans and Democrats each have 50 seats, but Democrats have a majority through the vote of Vice President Kamala Harris.

The problem is that major legislative changes require the support of at least 60 senators. Something can be decided by a simple majority, but then Biden struggles to persuade conservative members of his party.

Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia plays a leadership role among the so-called moderate Democrats. He is gaining more power than ever before because Biden relies entirely on his support. Manchin listens to his constituents, an achievement that, as a Democrat, was elected in a Republican-dominated state.

Mansion is a proponent of something as outdated and unpopular as the art of leveling up. Seeks an agreement between the parties, where there is none. In the past, willingness to compromise has been emphasized as a positive trait. Politicians who built bridges of contradiction gained recognition. Today the situation is the opposite. Non-compromise has become the norm.

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Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Photo: ALEX WONG / POOL

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Republicans do not intend to give Biden political victories. Instead, they will block everything that comes from the White House. If the president appears paralyzed, that increases Republicans’ chances of regaining control of the House and Senate in next year’s by-election.

For Biden, there is also a problem with Democrats not agreeing when it comes to his initiative. Conservative Democrats want to dampen Biden’s enthusiasm for reform. Progressive Party colleagues demand that he not give up an inch and he is happy to go further in his proposals. Multiple intersecting interests make it hard to influence anything.

When a new election law proposal came to a vote on Tuesday, all senators followed the party line and blocked further discussion. All Republican senators voted against.

Democrats want to ensure that all voters have the opportunity to vote in advance or vote by mail. Instead, Republicans will make tougher demands as they tighten state election laws. It comes after President Donald Trump unfoundedly claimed that widespread electoral fraud prevented him from winning.

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The congressional mill is grinding slowly. When Barack Obama presented his brilliant health plan, called Obamacare, there were fruitless negotiations with Republicans for months. A year later, Democrats passed the law in the spring of 2010. Trump promised to repeal the law, but to no avail. Over time, the controversial law became less controversial.

Until further notice, Biden will continue his talks with representatives of both parties. He wants a compromise with the Republicans, especially when it comes to popular proposals such as improving the infrastructure of the United States. He has said he is ready to compromise. This is how he wants to show voters that he at least tried.

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If that doesn’t work, he can try to implement parts of the reform package by a simple majority in the Senate, without the support of at least 60 senators. However, eliminating the qualified majority requirement also carries risks. Next fall, Republicans could get a majority in the Senate. Then they can answer with the same coin.