Biden struggles to get his ‘New Deal’ to transform the US economy
By Trevor Hunnicutt, Nandita Bose and Jarrett Renshaw
WASHINGTON, October 4 (Reuters) – Last October, presidential candidate Joe Biden flew to Warm Springs, Georgia, days before the national election, to compare his ambitions with those of the longest-serving US president.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt “often came back to Warm Springs to think about how to heal the nation and the world,” Biden said, adding that FDR was “the kind of president our country needs right now.”
President Biden’s “Build Better” program, the multibillion-dollar jobs, infrastructure and climate plan that is currently on ice in Congress, drew comparisons to FDR’s New Deal, which created the modern American safety net and employed millions of people during the Great Depression.
Unlike FDR, Biden’s Democrats have very slim majorities in the House and Senate.
And he must overcome opposition even within his own party to have a chance to deliver on his promises to reduce inequality in the United States, fix its crumbling infrastructure, and get rich Americans and businesses to contribute. more to spending.
This week, Biden will hit the road again to push spending plans forward, visiting Michigan, a state he went from Republican to Democrat in 2020. Other White House officials are expected to deploy across the board. the country.
Biden will also invite lawmakers to the White House, according to collaborators, but will not immediately visit two key states where Democratic senators are blocking his agenda – West Virginia and Arizona. Any visit there would be considered contradictory, according to Biden’s allies.
The programs Biden campaigned on would give government a bigger role in the economy than it has had in generations. They met with fierce opposition from many elected Republicans, but were well received by voters.
Investments in child care, elderly care, poverty reduction, health care, education, clean energy, water pipes, roads and bridges all had to be paid for by increasing taxes for the rich and for corporations.
“It’s not a tinkering plan,” Biden said in march, describing one of the most important elements – a proposed infrastructure spending of $ 2 trillion.
“It’s a unique investment in America, unlike anything we’ve seen or done since we built the freeway system and the space race decades ago.”
Congress, however, halved the infrastructure proposal to $ 1,000 billion. The proposed tax increases have been reduced, too much. This week the Democrats take a knife to a separate $ 3.5 trillion bill that covers climate, health care and child care, which could also cut in half.
Progressive Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, told ABC News on Sunday that $ 3.5 trillion “should be a minimum. But I accept it’s going to be a give and take.”
A BOLD PROMISE OF ACTION
Key Democrat support on Friday warned that “there could be consequences” if they “don’t keep their promise to reform medicare or cut drug costs.”
The Priorities USA memo, which spent more than $ 100 million to help elect Biden and other Democrats last year, said the provisions were among the most popular among a critical group: people in the States of the electoral battlefield who did not vote in 2016 but supported Biden in 2020.
“Democrats ran in 2018 and 2020 on the promise that once we had a majority, we would take bold action on the real issues facing the American people,” according to the memo. “It’s time to act.”
These voters will be disappointed if the party is forced to further reduce promises from Biden, former House of Representatives Cedric Richmond, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.
Some grassroots Democratic voters in states like Pennsylvania and Michigan are already agitated by other burning issues.
“The comments I get from candidates knocking on the door are that voters are concerned about the Texas abortion problem and the attack on voting rights,” said Joseph Foster, leader of the Democratic Party in the Montgomery County in Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia.
Chart: Biden’s plan to restructure the US economy https://graphics.reuters.com/USA-BIDEN/INVESTMENTS/xlbvgkbxlvq/
US needs $ 2.6 trillion in infrastructure spending over 10 years – report https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-infrastructure/us-gets-c-faces-2-59-trillion-in-infrastructure-needs-over-10-years-report-idUSKBN2AV0DD
(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt, Nandita Bose and Jarrett Renshaw in Washington; editing by Heather Timmons)
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