Joe Biden needs to turn the page after his turbulent August, but can he do it?
The approval rating for the President of the United States has reached the lowest level since taking office, according to Rate RealClearPolitics survey following the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan’s northern neighbor.
There is again a shortage of ICU beds in parts of the country. The cases of COVID-19 averaging 160,000 per day and hospitalized patients around 100,000 nationwide. They are shocking numbers for the promised “summer of freedom” that never really came.
Tomorrow Biden plans to travel to New York and New Jersey, where flooding from Hurricane Ida has killed at least 40 people. The trip comes after his visit to Louisiana on Friday, where the storm caused chaos after making landfall, highlighting progressive Democrats’ concerns about climate change and their demands that the Biden administration do more to combat it.
This is the context for a crucial month in Biden’s economic agenda. Democratic leaders had hoped to take advantage of their narrow margins in the House and Senate to pass key elements of the $3.5 trillion spending and tax package.
But Senator Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat from West Virginia whose vote will likely be decisive, dealt a blow to the effort last week when he called for a “strategic pause” and called for a smaller set of measures.
Manchin’s move fueled speculation that Biden’s agenda could be headed for defeat in Congress this fall.
It’s too early to tell if this is true. But it is clear that the president could use two pauses to begin shifting political discourse away from perceived errors.
The success of his agenda and the fate of his party in next year’s midterm elections may be at stake.
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