Biden is competing with time to make his mark — in one or more ways


President Joe Biden will give a speech on infrastructure spending at the Carpenters Pittsburgh Training Center in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, March 31, 2021.  (AP photo / Evan Vucci)

President Biden, who promoted infrastructure proposals in Pittsburgh last week, has set high goals for good reason and is acting swiftly. (Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

Joe Biden is competing with time. “We have to act now,” he said last week when he announced his huge $ 2 trillion or more economic plan. “You can’t delay another minute.”

Why was the 78-year-old president once thought to be a cautious moderate who suddenly went bankrupt?

Because he knows his time is short.

Like most new presidents, Biden is having fun Modest honeymoon In the eyes of the general public, but he knows from experience that it doesn’t last long.

His employment approval rate is stable at around 54%, a higher number than his predecessor has ever seen. The public loved his $ 1.9 trillion COVID bailout bill.To Some polls, Over 70% have been approved. According to the survey, the public also likes the core of his new proposal. It plans to spend a lot of money on the infrastructure paid by raising taxes on businesses.

However, it turns out that the number of polls is often declining. Republicans have just begun a campaign against a new plan to squeeze a long Democratic wish list into a shameless and elastic definition. “infrastructure.” (Home care for the elderly is a valuable goal, should it be counted as “human infrastructure”?)

The president’s historical memory encourages him to set high goals and move fast. His aides often say that Barack Obama made a big mistake by wasting months in vain seeking Republican support for his health care proposal.

For Biden, political clocks make even louder noises. Most political prophets say that Nancy Pelosi’s Democrats could lose a majority in the House of Representatives next year, and history is on their side. The presidential party has lost an average of 22 seats in all midterm elections since World War II. If Pelosi loses only five, she is out.

When the Republicans regain the House of Representatives, Biden’s window to pass ambitious bills, like Donald Trump in 2018 and Obama in 2010, suddenly closes.

During his two-year one-party rule, Obama passed three major bills: economic stimulus, the Obama Care Act, and Dodd-Frank Financial Reform. Trump, a self-proclaimed genius as a trading maker, abandoned him in Washington, passed only one of the 2017 tax cuts. Biden wants to beat Obama’s record with a much larger dollar.

Now add a more personal element. A suggestion of Biden’s death.

I know that every 78 years old counts the number of days left on Earth. I’m 10 years younger than 78, and I’m starting to suspect that even I can’t live forever.

With a tragic family history, Biden has spent more time in public life confronting death than almost anyone else. He lost his first wife and one-year-old daughter in a car accident in 1972. He almost died of a cerebral aneurysm in 1988. He said his recovery gave him a “second chance in life.” His son Bo died of a brain tumor in 2015 at the age of 46.

Has anyone talked about “fate” so often?

When asked at a press conference 10 days ago if he was going to run for reelection in 2024, Biden laughed, “I have a lot of respect for my destiny … I couldn’t plan ahead.”

In 2017 NPR interview, He used the same line and explained: “My son went to Iraq, volunteered, spent a year there, returned as the most suitable person in the regiment … and a year later he died of glioblastoma.”

Therefore, the Biden administration’s motto is not just “grow up or go home,” as some have suggested. It also moves fast because none of us know how much time we have.

It explains why Biden’s professed willingness to seek a bipartisan consensus with the Republicans was actually wiped out by his rivalry to take a faster route to pass the bill with Democratic votes alone. Helps you to. He doesn’t have time to compromise — and Republicans aren’t very interested in it.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell’s reaction was quick on the day Biden announced his economic proposal last week: “I’m going to fight them at every stage of the road,” he said.

It is a rational political decision on the part of McConnell. He believes that blocking Biden’s agenda is an important step in regaining the majority.

After all, the president’s big Infrastructure planning It may be too wide to pass because it is too expensive. You may find that the tax increase he wants is impossible to push forward. Opposition to the Republican Marshal, polls could head south. His own Democrat, who has a very thin majority in both the House and Senate, may not unite.

But the president has at least one right thing. He must assume that his time is short. When it comes to ambitious legislation, the Biden era, like the earlier Trump era and the previous Obama era, can last only two years.

This story was originally Los Angeles Times..

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