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Biden agenda still unfulfilled as Democrats fail to re-close deal | American politics

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Joe Biden’s nearly $ 3 billion national agenda remains unfulfilled after an 11th-hour push to rally Democrats around a squeezed package he called historic, failed to strike the deal in time for his meeting with world leaders in Rome at the G20 summit.

But after a dramatic Thursday of bold promises and dashed hopes, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was forced to postpone the vote on a $ 1 billion infrastructure bill for the second time in a month. , while the progressives demanded more assurances than a social compromise of 1.75 billion dollars, the political plan would also be adopted.

It was a setback – though perhaps only temporary – for Democratic leaders, who had hoped to offer the president a legislative victory he could boast on his six-day trip to Europe for a pair of international economic and climate summits. .

The delay underscored the depth of mistrust among Democrats – between the House and Senate, progressives and centrists, leaders and members – after a lengthy negotiation process resulted in a plan that was about half of Biden’s initial vision.

Biden’s proposal includes substantial investments in child care, education and healthcare as well as major initiatives to tackle climate change which, if enacted, would be the biggest step the government has ever taken. US Congress. The income would come from tax increases on businesses and the wealthy.

But in concessions to centrists like West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin and Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema, paid family leave, free tuition, and efforts to reduce prescription drug prices have been deleted from the last iteration of the plan. Progressives were disappointed with the cuts, but their desire to pass the legislation ultimately had little weight to force major changes.

In a speech before leaving for Europe, Biden admitted that the bill fell short of his legislative ambitions, but reflected the limits of what was politically possible given the Democrats’ narrow ruling majorities and of the unified republican opposition.

“No one got everything they wanted, including me,” he said. “But that’s the compromise.”

As lawmakers and campaigners digest the recently released details of the plan, there appears to be a growing consensus among progressives that, while insufficient, the plan is making critical investments in many of their top priorities, especially in the field of the fight against the climate crisis.

“The new Build Back Better Act may be a turning point in the United States’ fight against the climate crisis – but only if we pass it,” the leaders of climate advocacy group Evergreen Action wrote in a note Friday. service.

Julian Zelizer, a historian at Princeton University, said unified control of the White House and Congress can, perhaps paradoxically, make governance more difficult. Because these moments are rare and often fleeting, the president and his party are rushing to pursue an ambitious and legacy-defining agenda, he said.

“But the challenges of legislating don’t go away,” Zelizer said. “And in some ways the tensions within the party are exacerbated by the fact that the stakes are so high.”

Some have argued that cutting key programs could make it harder for Americans to feel the impact of the new benefits, despite the large size of the legislation. That could make it difficult for Biden, whose approval ratings have fallen in recent weeks, to sell the plan he said House Democrats would determine the fate of his presidency and their political future.

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