Because of Merry Christmas. For months, US President Joe Biden has been trying to get the heart of his term of office, the trillion dollar social and climate package, through Congress – and now it threatens to fail because of a fellow party member. Joe Manchin, representative of West Virginia in the Senate, does not want to agree, which would mean the end for the Democrats in view of the wafer-thin majority. It is as if the Christmas tree that Biden had just decorated was burning down.
Senator Manchin says no because the cost is too high for him, even the version scaled down from more than $ 3 trillion to $ 1.7 trillion. He thinks that the government should concentrate on Corona and economic growth, given the rising inflation rate, such expenditures are irresponsible.
Some people are democrats, but have to assert themselves in one of the most conservative states. In the 2020 presidential election in West Virginia, Donald Trump received his second-best result of any state; and now West Virginia poses the greatest threat to Biden’s presidency, a year before the congressional elections.
The renegade Senator Manchin cannot be changed
The White House is giving free rein to its anger. Hasn’t Biden put his entire reputation as a longtime senator and as a dealmaker with Congress – including for Barack Obama – into the balance? But nothing there, Manchin has so far neither been softened nor scared. The White House is now trying to grab the Senator by his honor, by his “obligations to the President and colleagues in the House of Representatives and in the Senate”.
The legislative package is too important to give up for all imaginable reasons. Firstly because of the promised improvements for millions of US citizens, through lower childcare costs, tax relief for families and the expansion of health services. In addition, 500 billion dollars are planned for the climate. Last but not least, Biden has to fight for it because, as President, he urgently needs this success. With popularity falling below 50 percent, with growing doubts as to whether the 79-year-old has not overestimated his assertiveness after all, it would be all the more a disaster if he were there as someone who did not keep his promises.
The evil saying is already rampant that Joe Biden will not end up as the next Franklin D. Roosevelt, but as the second Jimmy Carter who only had one term in office. And the alternative, Vice President Kamala Harris, is even less popular than her boss. If the Democrats were to lose their majority in both chambers of Congress to the Conservatives in November 2022 because of the failed mega-project – then that would be a gift for Donald Trump.
Yes, the tree is on fire. Joe Biden must put out the fire quickly, it must not spill over into the White House. This is not good news for the rest of the world. A US president who has to fight so domestically lacks authority, strength and time for foreign policy. And it’s not exactly peaceful either.
Source From: Tagesspiegel
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