USA: Biden, the hapless president

As of: 23.10.2021 4:12 a.m.

In the USA, US President Biden seems to have run out of luck. His ambitious reform agenda is stuck in Congress – mainly because of resistance from within its own ranks.

By Sebastian Hesse, ARD-Studio Washington

It was one of those moments that can get to the heart of a whole dilemma in a matter of seconds. At a CNN citizens’ forum, the Afro-American Thaddeus Price warned US President Joe Biden that his black electorate was deeply disappointed that nothing had happened with the promised police reform and discriminatory suffrage. The President in need of explanation:

Sebastian Hesse
ARD-Studio Washington

“My greatest regret is that I’m so busy getting the three most important legislative packages through parliament,” Biden said. “That stopped me from dealing with police violence and the right to vote!” Two issues that are particularly dear to African-American voters.

Two senators from within their own ranks thwart Biden’s plans

Biden is on the word, from Washington, to mitigate the tightening of the electoral law that some republican-ruled states had initiated. But for that he needs a two-thirds majority, and with it Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Republicans in the Senate.

“As long as the democratic MPs remain so fixated on their radical agenda, we will stop these harmful ideas,” said the group leader. At another point, McConnell can lean back with relish: Biden’s expensive infrastructure package, his expansion of the welfare state and, above all, his climate protection measures are currently not getting through: Because two Democratic senators have opposed themselves. Including Joe Manchin from West Virginia coal state:

“I don’t think that we should develop into a society of claims,” ​​said Manchin, much like a Republican, “we should remain a society that rewards performance!” An attitude that resonates in his home state.

President already had to slim down considerably

In TV spots, the Senator is backed up to prevent left-wing nonsense. Without Manchin’s vote, and that of the equally stubborn Senator Kyrsten Sinema from Arizona, Biden would not get the necessary majority. “Manchin comes from a coal state,” says Biden in his patient and understanding manner, “it wants to slow down the coal phase-out so that there is more time for structural change.”

And so the president already had to slim down considerably: in terms of the scope of his reform packages, which had to become noticeably cheaper in order to be acceptable to the rebels within the party. And with the climate protection measures that Biden had to soften.

What the brakemen like on the party right anger the party left: Biden just can’t please anyone. Especially not voters like Thaddeus Price, who see ambitious projects melt down and watch with concern as the window for reform begins to close. What is already happening to Congress, watered down by compromises, will have no chance next year after a possible republican comeback.

Biden’s reform agenda depends on resistance from within

Sebastian Hesse, ARD Washington, October 23, 2021 6:11 am

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