US President Joe Biden returned to Washington on Monday (20) without smiling much, as hopes for an agreement on a trillion-dollar plan to prepare the United States for the challenges of the 21st century faded at the end of the year. It has also been marked by an increase in Covid cases in the country.
Returning to the White House after a family weekend in Wilmington, Delaware, the US president, dressed in a black mask, walked into the Oval Office without a word, not even a single glance, at reporters waiting for him to step down from the helicopter. Currently, your schedule does not include any public attendance.
His plan, “Building Back Better,” which would require $1.75 trillion (about R$10 trillion) in social reforms and favor the United States in the face of climate change and competition with China, dealt a potentially fatal blow after Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, crucial to Senate approval, I decided to vote against.
The 79-year-old president has so far been limited to posting a tweet saying he is “more determined than ever” to defend this project that aims, among other things, to dramatically reduce the cost of insulin.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer tried to lift morale on Monday by promising in a statement to “vote a revised version” of the plan that has already been “approved by the House.”
“We will keep voting until we get something,” he said.
However, what would remain of President Biden’s most important legislative initiative without Manchin’s support?
After announcing the dissenting vote on Sunday on Fox News, former President Donald Trump’s favorite conservative channel, the West Virginia lawmaker reiterated Monday in an interview with West Virginia Metro News Radio that he would not vote for these “very, very ambitious reforms.”
The BBB aims to reduce the cost of daycares and medication, improve families’ purchasing power and encourage the purchase of electric vehicles.
This centrist, who has made his fortune from fossil fuels, fears the inflationary effect and believes that aid should be more focused.
Without it, Democrats do not have the majority needed to pass the plan in the Senate. Moreover, there is no way to count — as Biden did recently to pass his massive infrastructure spending plan — on support for the opposition, as Republicans believe that “building back better” would set the United States on a path to success. concept in the country.
The White House on Sunday expressed frustration with an unprecedented, violent statement from its spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, criticizing the “sudden, inexplicable change” and “violation” of Manchin’s commitments.
“It’s not the president, it’s his collaborators,” the senator said vaguely Monday, after abruptly ending discussions.
The blow to Biden, whose popularity index is already very low, is very serious: Not only are his reforms in jeopardy, but there is not much left of his political credit, with a year to go before the midterm legislative elections, the outcome of which could spell disaster for Democrats.
The president, a former senator who prides himself on unparalleled mastery of the parliamentary game, has taken the matter personally, speaking directly with Manchin on numerous occasions, much to the chagrin of progressives in his party, who feel cheated.
“Time to take off the gloves and rule,” tweeted Monday (20) Democratic Congressman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, one of the most famous faces on the party’s progressive wing.
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Helpless in front of a senator from a small rural nation of 1.7 million people, Biden also appears to be facing a new wave of Covid in the country, which has accumulated more deaths since the pandemic began two years ago, with more than 800,000 deaths so far.
Across the country, lines are growing in front of diagnostic centers, while sports competitions and shows are cancelled.
This is a disaster for Biden, who was elected after the chaos he endured during Trump’s term on a promise to end the pandemic and protect Americans.
How can such a promise be kept in a deeply divided country where federal power is limited and any action, whether the use of a mandatory mask or vaccine, generates so much controversy and lawsuits?
Biden plans to address the nation on Tuesday about an alternative Ômicron. His chief advisor on the health crisis, Anthony Fauci, announced the keynote on Sunday: “We’re going to have difficult weeks or months as winter approaches” in the northern hemisphere.
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