Joe Biden speaks at his inauguration on Capitol Hill on January 20.  Photo: Reuters.

Biden easily ‘stumbles’ because of his ambitious agenda


US President Joe Biden is working to advance his policy goals on a series of fronts, in the midst of his struggle with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Biden has submitted a plan to reform his immigration policy to parliament and he is also ambitious to advance many other agendas from climate change to ethnic equity.

Experts say that like most other US presidents, Biden set a series of goals to establish political leverage at the beginning of his term to create maximum motivation. However, the danger posed is that if Biden is unable to fulfill his ambitious goals, he could disappoint key constituencies.

Joe Biden speaks at his inauguration on Capitol Hill on January 20. Image: Reuters.

“We will need a lot of things to be able to act on many different fronts,” Brian Deese, director of the US National Economic Council, said in the White House press conference on Jan. 22.

Deese made the point of view in the context of the US $ 1.9 trillion Covid-19 bailout package proposed by President Biden and a series of other agendas that are being urgently promoted.

Some Democrats are optimistic that President Biden is fully capable of making large-scale progress, thereby leaving Republican opponents in the way.

“If Biden does well, people will be very disappointed if the Republicans look like they want to get in the way, especially economically and medically. That would be really bad for them,” said the strategist. Democrat Tad Devine said.

“I don’t think we’re going to do immigration reform and a bunch of other reforms right away,” Devine added. “But I believe Biden is in a very strong position right now. There are a lot of votes in favor of what the Democrats want.”

Trying to materialize a campaign promise is always what hurts new US presidents, but too much emphasis on it can easily make them make mistakes.

Former President Barack Obama has been steadfast in his commitment to health reform in the face of an economic disaster, persisting with great ambitions, although his advisers advised him to tackle more modest goals. . He signed the Affordable Health Care Act in March 2010 and later saw his party suffer a heavy defeat in the midterm elections later that year.

Former President Clinton was even worse. His 1993 health reform efforts were unsuccessful and other controversies slowed progress on the agenda. Clinton initially sought to end a ban on homosexuals in the military, but then came up with a more compromising policy that required not to ask enlistment applicants about their sexual orientation. This job does not really satisfy anyone.

The Republicans think Biden could be prone to making the same mistakes. According to Republican strategist John Feehery, President Biden is setting too many goals. “He should probably be more targeted. Biden will disappoint countless people if he can’t keep his promises,” commented Feehery.

To date, Biden has used executive orders to advance its agenda. He vowed the US would rejoin the Paris climate accord, reverse the controversial entry ban enacted by predecessor Donald Trump and stop construction of the border wall, among other actions.

But the bottom line still lies in enacting the law and there is little indication that Republicans will support him in the face of important decisions.

“On the first day of the Biden administration, he took some big steps in the wrong direction,” Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said last week, adding that the President should remember that “he does not owe the faction. extreme left election “.

Biden’s 60-day ban on new oil drilling in US federal waters and waters has been criticized by more than 30 Republican congressmen, including the faction’s leaders. minority in the Steve Scalise House of Representatives. He called the plan an “attack on American energy jobs”.

Liberal activists, however, insist Biden is doing the right thing in trying to pursue a comprehensive agenda.

“There is nothing wrong with Biden prioritizing both coping with Covid-19 while reviving the economy. That will reduce the number of deaths and increase the number of people who can support themselves and help others”, Frank Sharry, CEO and founder of America’s Voice, an organization that advocates for immigration reform, commented.

Biden’s proposed immigration policy opens up an eight-year roadmap for people who are illegally staying to become US citizens. This alone created a lot of pressure on him because it required every Democrat and at least 10 Republicans to vote in favor in the Senate.

“I don’t expect Republicans to do anything but hinder and dream of returning to power. They are Trump’s supporters,” Sharry said.

For now, Democrats bet that Biden’s negotiating prowess, forged through more than 30 years of political activity, will help him push his agenda quickly. But if the public is not interested in anything but dealing with the pandemic and reviving the economy, difficulties will immediately surround the new US President.

Vu Hoang (According to the Hill)

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