Washington- This week is crucial to President Biden and his supporters in many ways. Monday brings a $1.85 trillion package for the people of America, to spend on healthcare, climate change, and other domestic issues.
This bill is to go down in history as one of the most ambitious deals because it aims to conquer much with only limited support. Yes, President Biden is asking for a lot from Congress and the Senate.
The domestic bill comes a week after the ratification of President Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure package by the majority in House and the Senate. But in reality, the bill which has become half of its original $ 3.5 trillion sizes is still not attracting support. So, what seems to be the problem?
The House elected in 2018 is divided into narrow lines, with Democrats being in the majority by only a few seats. Senate poses an even greater risk with the seats being divided 50-50 between the two parties. The problem lies in all of this.
No large majority for the Democrats, the Republicans not being ready to concede on any bill that is not suited to their will. A maddening situation exists as Biden’s supporters expect promises made under the ‘Build Back Better’ campaign to come true.
Even the Democrats are divided. Progressives with the party are willing to pay heed to Biden’s proposal.
However, the Centrists are going to push forward their own or their donors’ agendas. Recent examples are Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Krysten Sinema of Arizona, who negotiated their demands over the energy bill with the Biden administration.
The importance of each vote has never been so much in the past 20 years as it is now. Even the Obama administration was able to pass his entire bill easily except for the last passage known famously as Obamacare. He did not face the situation Biden has to, with the divide in the Senate being 60-40 in Obama’s tenure.
An Ambitious Package
Perhaps, what matters the most is what President Biden wishes to achieve with this package.
It is comparable to the likes of Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson. Franklin’s New Deal programs were suited according to the need of the hour, with the Great Depression deteriorating the living conditions for all Americans.
Johnson’s Great Society Bills were also ambitious; however, both the presidents were in a much more comfortable position than Biden. They had landslide victories in the elections, plus they were also able to benefit from the cross-over vote of their opposing party.
Frances Lee, the associate chair of the Politics department at Princeton University says, “There’s just no good precedent for what Democrats are seeking to do, and I really wouldn’t be surprised to see them fail. I can’t think of any parallel. I mean, I can think of some big bills, but nothing this big.”
Will Biden Be Successful?
“The question is: Can I get all of those votes? This is a process,” Biden told the press at the White House on Saturday.
“You didn’t believe we could do any of it. And I don’t blame you,” he said to the press as well as the American audience. “Because you look at the facts, you wonder, ‘How is this going to get done?”
On the other side, the Republicans are not interested in showing their support, even though they did give some supporting votes for the passing of the $ 1 trillion infrastructure bill.
It is evident from what perspective they view this bill. The Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell stated clearly that Biden’s bill is a “reckless tax-and-spending” spree. He further argued that Biden was not elected with a fair mandate.
“I don’t think the American people are interested in seeing this go any further,” he added.
If the Biden administration can gather support for this bill or will be a massive step forward to what Biden envisioned in his ‘Build Back Better’ campaign. His supporters are looking up to him for the fulfillment of the vows made.
However, there is a chance that some more Democrats come out in the open, wishing to get their demands met and approach Biden to negotiate their terms.