Joe Biden’s Remarkable Week May Just Rescue His Presidency – World News

Joe Biden’s Remarkable Week May Just Rescue His Presidency

In one short week, Joe Biden may have pulled off a remarkable comeback. Thanks to a lot of presidential grit and some good fortune, news on the economy, the virus, Congress and even the Supreme Court has started to look a lot better for the White House.

A week ago Biden was staring into the abyss. His approval ratings were deep underwater and 70 percent of Americans thought the country was going in the wrong direction. Resurgent Republicans were poised to test the Democrats’ hold on states they had won easily for years, capitalizing on voters’ frustrations with a sputtering economy and an enduring pandemic that Biden had promised to end. And most embarrassingly, Biden’s signature legislative achievements had been thwarted repeatedly in Congress by factions within his own party, even after he announced what he called a framework agreement. The last of those defeats forced the president to go empty-handed to global climate talks in Glasgow, where he was seen falling asleep on a video watched by millions.

Republican Glenn Youngkin’s victory in Virginia’s gubernatorial election did not bode well for Democrats ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, nor did the razor-thin victory by Democratic Governor Phil Murphy in New Jersey.

“When you put the Virginia and New Jersey results together with the steep decline in Biden’s popularity and the normal losses for the president’s party in midterm elections, it sends a grim warning to Democrats,” Paul Quirk, a political scientist at the University of British Columbia in Canada, told Newsweek.

By Wednesday morning, the Biden presidency appeared to be in real peril.

During the climate summit in Glasgow, Biden had an exchange with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who asked him how he was doing.

“So far, so good,” Biden replied as he reflected on his busy week, according to the Washington Post. “There’s this old joke. A guy jumps off [a] 100-story building. As he passes the 50th floor, they asked him how he’s doing. And he says, ‘So far so good.’

By Saturday morning, the story was almost entirely different. Biden was able to celebrate “infrastructure week,” making a dig at Donald Trump after the House passed the infrastructure bill with GOP support on Friday evening. Suddenly it was the Republicans who were at each other’s throats, while in the Democratic Party, a Biden-brokered truce between moderates and progressives opened the door for yet more legislation.

“It was always likely that the Democrats would eventually reach sufficient agreement to pass the infrastructure bill,” Quirk told Newsweek. “Both the progressives and the conservatives were competing at brinkmanship, trying to appear willing to let the negotiations fail if they didn’t get their way.”

Democrats took pride in their ability to pass a bill that would revamp the country’s infrastructure, pointing out that the Trump administration was unable to do so.

Democratic Representative Adam Schiff tweeted Sunday: “For four years, Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress proclaimed that it was ‘infrastructure week.’ They promised a big investment in roads, bridges, and highways. And they never delivered. We did. And that’s a Big F-ing Deal.”

While pushing his agenda, the president gathered assurances in writing from a number of Democrats on both the infrastructure bill—already passed in the Senate—and the separate social spending bill, also known as the Build Back Better Act or reconciliation bill.

“I am urging all members to vote for both the rule for consideration of the Build Back Better Act and final passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill tonight,” Biden said in a statement on Friday. “I am confident that during the week of November 15, the House will pass the Build Back Better Act.”

Meanwhile, Democratic moderates and progressives called a truce, at least in the House. Progressives had stood in the way of voting on the infrastructure bill, vowing to oppose it over cuts and a new framework to the Build Back Better package that Biden announced.

The divide between moderate and progressive Democrats had widened after Biden announced a new framework to the reconciliation package that included less emphasis on climate provisions due to Senator Joe Manchin’s opposition to quickly replacing coal and gas power plants with climate-friendly alternatives.

But on Friday night, moderates suggested they would vote for the Build Back Better Act in its current form after the Congressional Budget Office releases fiscal information by the week of November 15.

Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal said in a statement Friday:

“Tonight, members of the Progressive Caucus and our colleagues in the Democratic Caucus reached an agreement to advance both pieces of President Biden’s legislative agenda. Our colleagues have committed to voting for the transformative Build Back Better Act, as currently written, no later than the week of November 15. All our colleagues have also committed to voting tonight on the rule to move the Build Back Better Act forward to codify this promise. The President has affirmed these members gave him the same commitment.”

On Sunday, Representative Josh Gottheimer, a moderate Democrat from New Jersey, said he expects the CBO score to “match up” with the White House’s analysis.

As they continue to build on their achievements, Democrats now have the bargaining advantage on the spending bill, according to Quirk. This is particularly good news, he added, for Biden and liberal Democrats who “won’t face the voter backlash that major new spending programs would inevitably have produced in [the] 2022 and 2024 elections.”

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