Joe Biden Looks to Garner Support Among Democrats for Legislative Agenda

President Joe Biden is leaning into his reputation as a closer as time for implementing his legislation agenda draws short. According to White House insiders, Biden is wasting no opportunity to get Democratic lawmakers behind his ambitious agenda. For Biden, the key to this strategy is remaining in Washington. The president has canceled a trip to Chicago and even chose not to throw out the first pitch at the Congressional Baseball Game in favor of meetings with members of his own party who are skeptical of his signature piece of legislation.

Press Secretary Jen Psaki says that Biden’s chief objective is unifying Democrats. Part and parcel to this objective is reminding his colleagues of what failure would mean for the party. During his decades in Congress, Biden earned a reputation as one of the Democratic Party’s biggest deal makers. In the current talks, Biden is faced with finding common ground between progressive Democrats, who are seeking a major overhaul of the federal government, and moderate Democrats, who argue that the legislation that currently exists has too big of a price tag. While Biden has walked away from talks with some lawmakers feeling that he has made headway into implementing the new agenda, aides say that other meetings have been visibly frustrating for the president. Given the ongoing talks, Biden and White House insiders feel that a deal is not likely to be reached by the party’s intended deadline of the end of this week.

Talks have been further complicated by a series of events last month that took up much of Biden’s time. In addition to the chaotic exit from Afghanistan, the president has also needed to attend constant briefings on the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus and federal response to Hurricane Ida. Political analysts also point out that while Biden had a reputation as a deal maker during his time in Congress, he has not been a member of the Legislative Branch for over a decade. In that time, Congress has become much more polarized, with senators and representatives usually voting along party lines. As such, Biden’s strategies for securing deals might no longer work in the current climate.

By far the biggest piece of Biden’s strategy is securing the support of Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, two moderate Democratic senators who have been the most vocal in their opinion that the legislation is too expensive for the American people. Aides say that Biden has held more meetings with Manchin and Sinema than any other lawmakers. Those familiar with talks during these meetings say that Biden is seeking to determine what Manchin and Sinema view as a reasonable price tag for the legislation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *