Needing a Win, Biden Sprints on His Economic Agenda

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WASHINGTON — President Biden, his aides and allies in Congress face a September run to secure a legislative victory that could define his early presidency.

Democrats race against time after party leaders in the House made a deal this week Advancing the two-pronged approach that Mr. Biden hopes is a $4 trillion overhaul of the federal government’s role in the economy. This deal constitutes a potentially dangerous vote on part of the agenda through September 27: a bilateral agreement on roads, broadband, water pipes and other physical infrastructures. He also encouraged House and Senate leaders to intensify their efforts to close a deal. larger, Democrats-only bill tackling climate change, expanding access to education and investing heavily in workers and families within the same window.

If the factions of the party can bridge the differences Over time, they could achieve the same level of legislative success for Mr. Biden as the New Deal or the Great Society, and fund dozens of programs for Democratic candidates and president to campaign for in the coming months.

If they fail, Mr. Biden may find that both halves of his economic agenda have been interrupted at a time when his popularity has plummeted, and few if any of his other priorities have a chance to pass Congress.

Mr. Biden finds himself in a dangerous moment with seven months before his term expires. The withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan turned into a chaotic situation. race to evacuate tens of thousands the number of people arriving from the country by the end of the month. After throwing a 4th of July party at the White House “declare independence” From the Covid-19 pandemic saw and sent the Delta variant spread through unvaccinated populations Hospitalizations and death rates from the virus are rising In states like Florida.

the president’s approval points dropped Even on one thing that’s been strong in recent months from his early tenure: the economy, which some recent polls show voters are more disapproving than approving of Mr. Biden’s performance.

The country is likely enjoying the strongest year of economic growth in a quarter-century. But consumer confidence plummeted In the face of the rapid rise in prices of food, gasoline and used cars, along with the shortage of household appliances, medical devices and other products resulting from global supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic.

Workers did not return to open jobs as quickly as many economists had hoped, creating long waits at restaurants and elsewhere. Private forecasters lowered their growth expectations for the back half of the year, citing supply constraints and the threat from the Delta variant.

White House economists still expect strong job gains for the rest of the year and a headline growth rate in early 2021 that far exceeds any forecaster’s before Mr. But a senior administration official said this week that the White House economic team has lowered its internal forecasts for growth this year, citing supply constraints and possible consumer response to the renewed spread of the virus.

Aware of this cut, and what White House economists predicted a heavy dip in economic growth next year as stimulus spending dwindles, administration officials launched a multi-week attack to pressure moderate and progressive Democrats in Congress to pass these spending bills. Officials say it could help revive the recovery and possibly change the narrative of Mr. Biden’s difficult story at the end of the summer.

The importance of the package for Mr Biden was clear Tuesday before the president delivered a speech on Afghanistan’s evacuation efforts to praise the House, a measure that paves the way for a series of votes on his broader agenda.

“We are one step closer to truly investing in the American people, positioning our economy for long-term growth, and building an America that surpasses the rest of the world,” Biden said.

There are many more steps ahead before Mr Biden can sign both bills – but his party has given him only a few weeks to complete them. Infrastructure invoice is written. But the House and Senate must agree on the larger bill’s spending schedules, revenue increases and overall cost, and balance the desires of progressives who see a generational chance to expand government to address inequality and rein in climate change, and moderates pushing for smaller legislation. package and resisted some tax offers to pay for it.

It’s a timeline reminding that Republicans put themselves on the table in the fall of 2017, when they rushed the nearly $2 trillion tax cut package to President Donald J. Trump’s desk without a single Democratic vote.

Democratic leaders say they spent months laying the groundwork for the party to act quickly. Committee leaders were told to finish their work by September 15.

Ron Wyden, of Oregon, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has issued draft debates to fund the $3.5 trillion in budget compromise spending — the larger, Democrats-only bill — by raising taxes on high-income and businesses. On Wednesday, he detailed his plan to increase taxes on profits made and booked by multinational companies overseas.

“I was encouraged by where we were,” Mr. Wyden said in an interview.

Mr. Wyden is consulting with management officials, other prominent Senate Democrats such as Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Mark Warner of Virginia, and Representative Richard E. Neal of Massachusetts, who leads the Ways and Means Committee. Other key Democrats say they are cautious about resolving differences not only between moderates and liberals, but also between the House and Senate.

“We’re writing a bill with the Senate because there’s no use in getting things done if we don’t pass the Senate,” California spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi said at a weekly news conference. “We don’t want to go as slow as the slowest ship, but we also don’t want to make enough use of any resources.”

As part of the deal Tuesday to secure the votes needed to approve the $3.5 trillion budget plan, Pelosi made a commitment to centrist and conservative Democrats that she would only accept a compromise package that had the support of all 50 Senate Democrats and was approved. strict Senate rules governing the fast track process.

Florida Representative Stephanie Murphy, one of the Democrats, said, “I’m not here to pass message bills – I’m really here to pass bills that will become law and help the American people.” budget. “The truth is, we run in a two-chamber Congress where we have to work with the Senate, and so I think that’s the most efficient and effective way to get results.”

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