The Biden administration has taken tremendous pride in methodically unveiling its agenda, particularly the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief measure the president hopes to trumpet over subsequent several weeks. But a growing list of unforeseen challenges is starting to scramble the White House’s plans.
In but every week , two mass shootings have overshadowed President Joe Biden’s “Help is Here” tour at which he planned to herald the ways his administration helps Americans recovering from the pandemic. The White House has also struggled to reply to the expansion in unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S.-Mexico border or blunt a nationwide effort by Republican legislatures to tighten election laws.
Biden’s meticulous approach to the presidency is meant to function a stark departure from the chaos of his predecessor, Donald Trump. But the rapid developments over the past week are a reminder that even the foremost disciplined administration can only control such a lot .
“Every president and their staff make plans but a day the plans get blown up by reality,” said Ari Fleischer, who was press secretary to George W. Bush when that administration’s priorities were suddenly swamped by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. “Outside events intervene and force you to play defense or improvise or change your plans nearly a day . If you can’t juggle, you don’t belong within the White House.”
The juggle is intensifying at a very critical moment for Biden. the foremost valuable asset of presidents is their time, especially in their opening months in office, when the concerns of future elections are most distant. there have been signs on Tuesday that the patience of Biden’s diverse coalition could also be fraying.
Two Democratic senators, Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, condemned the shortage of diversity in Biden’s Cabinet. Scrutiny of these advising Biden has intensified after last week’s shooting in Atlanta, which killed eight people, including six women of Asian descent. The violence came during a wave of attacks against Asian Americans over the past year.
Duckworth said she raised her concerns with the White House on Tuesday and she or he and Hirono threatened to withhold their votes on nominations until the administration addressed the matter. during a Senate that’s evenly divided, such a move could have significant ramifications.
However, the 2 senators put aside their block on the nominees late Tuesday after securing the Biden administration’s assurances more would be done. Press secretary Jen Psaki said the White House will add a senior-level Asian American Pacific Islander liaison “who will make sure the community’s voice is further represented and heard.”
Biden could soon face another fight if he follows through together with his commitment to tighten gun regulations. After Monday’s shooting at a Boulder, Colorado, supermarket that killed 10 people, Biden urged Congress to shut loopholes within the background check system and ban assault weapon and high-capacity magazines.
Biden homed in on closing what's referred to as the Charleston loophole — provision in federal law that provides a gun seller discretion on whether to proceed with a purchase if the FBI fails to work out within three business days whether a buyer is eligible to get a gun.“That’s one among the simplest tools we've immediately to stop gun violence,” Biden said.
Biden, as a candidate, promised rapid action on regulation , including some steps on his first day in office. But the polarizing issue was quietly sidelined by the main target on the virus effort and therefore the refore the imperative to prioritize his agenda with narrow Democratic majorities in Congress and the legislative filibuster in situ .During the overall election, Biden managed to quell much of the intraparty divisions that have so often riven Democrats by rallying them around a central purpose: defeating Trump.
After his election, his team adopted an equivalent principle to unite the Democratic factions by again organizing around a standard motivation: passing the huge $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill. There was to be no debate about priorities, Biden’s aides made clear to Democrats. The pandemic relief, which emphasizes vaccines and unemployment benefits, had to return first at a time of historic crises.
Publicly, Democratic lawmakers and groups signed on whilst the behind-the-scenes jockeying began over what would come next. Biden aides have acknowledged that fighting over the sequence could become fierce, with disparate groups pushing for regulation , immigration, voting rights and global climate change to become the centerpiece of subsequent White House push.
After the shootings, and a growing challenge at the southern border, West Wing aides within the previous couple of days have held a series of meetings and virtual calls to strategize on the way to proceed on the recent button issues, consistent with two White House aides not authorized to debate private discussions. Biden urged advisers to maneuver on regulation , the aides said.
West Wing aides privately acknowledge they were caught off guard by the rise in migrants at the border and therefore the furor over the conditions of their detention. After only muted opposition to an epidemic relief bill none of them voted for, Republican lawmakers have seized on the border situation.That’s making Democrats nervous. Some Democratic lawmakers have involved more transparency at the border while fearing such disclosure would allow Republicans to dam the White House’s momentum.
Just before news of the Colorado shooting, White House aides leaked preliminary word about their next priority, a potentially $3 billion package with money for developing roads, hospitals, schools and green energy systems. except for that program, like other legislative priorities, the White House faces tough prospects for any Republican support and would be forced to proceed along a party-line vote.That would require keeping all Democrats in line and deploying procedural maneuvers to pass legislation without Republican votes.
Biden, a Senate institutionalist, has long opposed modifying the filibuster, though aides have said he would give priority to his agenda over preserving the legislative tool if it involves that.But the move would face fierce opposition from Republicans within the minority and will also encounter headwinds among moderate Democrats like Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia , suggesting more political fights ahead.
[ News source Huff Post ]