Friday, May 20, 2022

Year 1 in: Biden progresses, ready to talk through setbacks Nation World News

WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) — A year into a presidency defined by high ambitions and a sometimes depressing lack, President Joe Biden will try to talk anxious Americans through the challenges of delivering his long to-do list as he finds a rare Holds news conferences and demands patience with the pace of progress.

Before the session, scheduled for 4 p.m. EST on Wednesday, his 365th day in office, Biden gave no indication that he thought a reset was in order. But his presence was coming to the fore on the same day that long-standing Democratic efforts to change the country’s voter laws came under fire on Capitol Hill and stalled Biden’s massive social spending package.

The East Room event will provide Biden with the opportunity to highlight his achievements to a national audience, and to highlight the bipartisan infrastructure legislation he built on his watch, a roaring economy and the country’s progress against COVID-19 was confirmed.

Still, it’s a dangerous time for Biden: The nation is in the grip of another disruptive surge in virus cases and inflation at a level not seen in a generation. Biden’s approval rating has fallen sharply in his first year in office and Democrats are poised for a possible midterm route if he can’t turn things around.

Biden has held only six solo news conferences during his first year in office. The ongoing threat from the coronavirus will be clear in the setup of Wednesday’s gathering: A limited number of journalists will be allowed to participate, and everyone will have to be tested for the virus and wear a mask.

The White House said Biden would use his presence to highlight progress but also to “level up” with the public about the challenges ahead.

“It didn’t work, it didn’t work, and we’re definitely not telling it,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Tuesday. “So, our objective, and I think you’ll hear the president talking about tomorrow, is how to build on the foundation we laid in the first year.”

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As for voting rights, she said, Biden’s view is that “it’s never a good idea not to shoot for the moon with your proposals and what you’re fighting for. And the alternative is that for nothing.” Let’s fight and fight not to get anything difficult.”

The lasting impact of COVID-19 has become a burden on Biden’s presidency, despite his best efforts to rally the nation in the common purpose of defeating the virus. As a candidate, he promised to restore normalcy in a pandemic-stricken nation, but overcrowded hospitals, shortages in grocery stores and fierce divisions abound over vaccine mandates and face mask requirements.

On the Senate floor, meanwhile, Democrats are on track to lose a vote to change the chamber’s rules to pass voting reform legislation because of opposition from Democratic censors. Arizona’s Kirsten Cinema and West Virginia’s Joe Manchin. That would outline the odds on Biden’s influence only a week after he compared opponents of the measures to separatists in Atlanta and encouraged senators to take action.

And just a month ago, Manchin blocked Biden’s nearly $2 trillion legislation aimed at addressing climate change, reducing child poverty and expanding the social safety net, paid for by new taxes on the wealthy. went. The bill, which Biden hopes will build a lasting domestic legacy, is now on the back burner as Democrats await Biden’s guidance on how to move forward.

The bill was once seen as a catch-all home to a variety of progressive priorities, but now Democrats feel the need to deliver another milestone to voters in the midterm year and come up with a slimmed-down package which can remove manchin. frugality

“I’m open to whatever is going to get us to the finish line,” Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren told CBS News on Tuesday. “We only need to get what we can across the finish line.”

Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin encouraged Americans to be “honest and realistic” in his comments, particularly regarding the harsh realities that are possible in a 50-50 split Senate where no one legislator can block Biden’s agenda. could.

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“We have an agenda that is not only engaging voters, but is realistic on Capitol Hill,” Durbin, D-Ill., told reporters Tuesday. “Having an ambitious agenda is fine, but it has to come down to the harsh reality of generating votes.”

Recent Democratic presidents have reformed their first term after being rebuffed in midterm elections. shifted in a more moderate direction after beating President Bill Clinton in 1994; President Barack Obama was forced to recalculate after admitting that he had received “shellac” in the mid-2010s.

For his part, Biden is indicating that he is unprepared for a major change of direction following recent policy setbacks. Instead, his White House is dogmatically promising to deliver on the promises made.

His words will be closely analyzed both at home and abroad, as the US seeks to rally an international coalition to defuse a dangerous situation in Eastern Europe.

“We are now at a stage where Russia can attack Ukraine at any time,” Saki said on Tuesday.

Former Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs called on Biden to acknowledge Americans’ concerns about the future.

“President Biden needs to reassure Americans that he understands their economic concerns, particularly around inflation, and his administration is working to increase test availability, keep schools and businesses open, and provide clear guidance around COVID-19.” We are focused on bringing the country back to normalcy,” he said. said.

Gibbs said, “They should resist the idea of ​​a victory lap or try to re-prove the current narrative in an event by showing what they have already achieved and instead stay where concerned Americans are.” ‘Talk about the road ahead and talk about the road already traveled,’ Gibbs added.

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Associated Press Congressional correspondent Lisa Mascaro contributed to this report.

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Nation World News Desk
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