Joe Biden is struggling to regain support after a series of blunders over the summer, namely the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban and a failed evacuation mission of American citizens.
As a result, the cognitively declining “president” is shifting his focus back to domestic policies, hoping & praying for some semblance of success leading up to the 2022 midterm elections
Facing the lowest approval ratings of his presidency, Biden hopes to win back some Democrat support by scoring legislative victories on infrastructure and massive social spending in September.
But Republicans’ intense focus on Afghanistan, as well as moderate Democrats who oppose the price tag of his $3.5 trillion social spending bill, threaten to block or delay Biden claiming domestic wins and a planned pivot away from foreign affairs.
Speaking on a weaker-than-expected jobs report on Friday, Biden called the country to ‘sticking together’to achieve his September goals of increasing COVID-19 vaccinations and seeing Congress pass his economic agenda.
“It takes a lot of nerve to give a lecture about “stick together” when you just left hundreds of Americans behind enemy lines and your only plan is to change the subject,” Sen. Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican, shot back in a Friday statement.
Republicans have sent numerous signals that they will keep their focus on Afghanistan and remaining humanitarian and diplomatic issues.
A wave of Republicans has called for Biden or other administration officials to resign or be impeached . Former President Donald Trump’s Save America PAC last week released an ad criticizing Biden’s handling of the withdrawal, indicating hopes of keeping the issue alive through campaign season.
Republicans have also brought their concerns about Afghanistan to committee markup sessions for Biden’s spending proposals.
September is a critical month for Biden’s legislative agenda.
The House aims to pass and send to Biden’s desk the bipartisan $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which largely addresses physical infrastructure, by Sept. 27. Left-wing Democrats, though, say that they will not vote for the legislation until they also pass a go-it-alone $3.5 trillion reconciliation package that includes money for free community college, green energy initiatives such as a “civilian climate corps,” an extension of the child tax credit, and a pathway to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants.
But centrist Democrats complicate Biden’s hopes of pushing the two-track plan to his desk in the next few weeks.
Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, called for the party to ”hit a strategic pause” on the $3.5 trillion plan, writing that he will not support “anywhere near that level of additional spending” without additional clarity.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, an Arizona Democrat, has also expressed her opposition to the high price tag. Support from all 50 Senate Democrats is necessary to push the reconciliation package through the evenly-divided Senate.
White House chief of staff Ron Klain downplayed the roadblock posed by Manchin on CNN on Sunday, insisting his concerns about inflation and debt could be addressed in the legislation.
The 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on Saturday may also prolong attention on the Afghanistan withdrawal and its aftermath.
Author: Asa McCue