Thursday, June 20, 2024

Confrontation at a wild camp site

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Tony Vaughn
Tony Vaughn
"Total creator. Evil zombie fan. Food evangelist. Alcohol practitioner. Web aficionado. Passionate beer advocate."

Joe Biden has been trying to get Congress to pass two massive bills that have been pivotal pieces in his program to boost the US economy for months.

First, there are $1.2 trillion for pharaonic projects to address the country’s aging infrastructure. A colossal amount that annoys not only Republicans, but also some Democrats who would rather spend less.

Then, and this is where the US president is struggling the most, he wants to pump at least $3,500 billion to overhaul health care and education, not to mention combat climate change. Pretty much everything will be financed by increased taxes.

Moderates are not moderates?

What do we give the urgency to these famous Democrats who are called moderates who are very close to Republican thought. In this case, it was Joe Manchin and Kirsten Senema, senators from West Virginia and Arizona, respectively, who lead the most right-wing faction in the party.

Joe Manchin, Democratic senator from West Virginia (left), and Kirsten Senema, Democratic senator from Arizona (centre)

Photo: Getty Images / Alex Wong

In recent days, they have been switching between the Senate and the White House, between consultations with the president on the one hand, and the pressure groups funding their campaign on the other.

With a narrow majority in the House of Representatives and above all a Head More only in the Senate — thanks to the voice of Kamala Harris, the vice president — Joe Biden doesn’t have the luxury of a member of his staff frowning.

At the head of a democratic family more dysfunctional than ever, he must show his teeth, but also hit the grain, give a little here and a little there.

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Too extreme left?

Moreover, on the other side of the party, hundreds or so of progressive Democrats, led by Bernie Sanders, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee and principal architect of the $3.5 trillion plan, see these negotiations with The moderate enemy With very bad eyes. So much so that we are ready to derail the infrastructure program that the centrists will be willing to accept.

Bernie Sanders, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee and principal architect of the .5 trillion bill.

Senator Bernie Sanders in front of the Capitol Building in Washington

Photo: Getty Images/Kevin Dietsch

Their calculations are simple: According to them, the Senate must commit to a vote on 3,500 billion social reforms before voting on the 1,200 billion infrastructure plan. In fact, they believe that if the party’s moderates and centrists succeed in prioritizing infrastructure, they will step aside to vote on major reforms. In short, trust prevails.

In the face of this chaos, Republicans are doing their best to shake off these controversies while devouring popcorn while watching this nasty Democratic movie. The Grand Old Party (GOP) has the beautiful game: Do you control all of the White House and the Senate and the House of Representatives? Do your homework and work hard. Joe Biden should say to himself: With friends like that, who needs enemies?

race against time

No matter how much effort he puts in, time passes quickly and compromises seem more difficult than ever. In 13 months, there will be midterm elections, in which all 435 seats in the House of Representatives will be renewed, and a third of the 100 seats in the Senate will be put to the test. Thirteen months is an eternity in politics, yes, but indicators of popularity continue to decline for Biden.

Hopes of having another Congress dominated by Democrats are faintering more and more every day. Although having a democratic majority is not synonymous with success, we can see it these days. Joe Biden, who has bragged about getting things done thanks to his ability to rally Republicans to his projects, anyway needs good news to save his two giant projects in the coming hours.

If that fails, the problem will not be the tent pegs, but the tent itself that can fly. And getting it back within a year to face the midterm elections would be no more difficult. If he thinks being president is tough these days, Biden must be in a cold sweat only to think that his last two years in office could end up with a Republican-dominated Congress against him.

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