US Congress to vote on Joe Biden’s investment plans

The outcome is near: after months of intense negotiations and internal quarrels among the Democrats, the American House of Representatives will finally vote on Friday, November 5 on the major investment plans of Joe Biden, who hopes to see them adopted to revive his presidency, strained.

The House will meet at 8 a.m. local time, Democratic officials said Thursday evening, to vote on these two gigantic programs of the president, supposedly “Rebuild” America. A project “Historical” and “Carrier of transformation”, had earlier said a spokesperson for the White House, Karine Jean-Pierre.

Under pressure after a stinging defeat in a local election, Democrats in Congress struggled Thursday to tune their violins, and Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had promised: “We will adopt these two plans”. Because time was running out. Struggles between the left wing of Joe Biden’s party and more moderate elected officials were robbing the president of a political victory he desperately needs to breathe new life into his presidency.

Two pharaonic projects

” It’s urgent “, had hammered Karine Jean-Pierre. The president’s spending programs are popular with Americans, according to polls. And a study by Moody’s published Thursday estimated the number of jobs that these plans could create in ten years at 1.5 million. But Joe Biden, who praised his negotiating skills during the presidential campaign because of his long career as a senator, stumbled over divisions in his party and watched helplessly as his popularity plummeted.

Before his tour to the G20 and COP26 summits, the president had already visited Capitol Hill twice to speed up the passage of his two flagship projects: A plan first to renovate dilapidated roads, bridges and transport from the country. The $ 1.2 trillion envelope – the equivalent of Spain’s GDP – is backed by Democrats and some Republicans. Another, gigantic social and climate component, called “Build Back Better”, which notably plans to reduce childcare costs and invest 550 billion dollars to significantly reduce gas emissions greenhouse effect by 2030.

But his efforts were unsuccessful. Back from Europe, the president, visibly impatient, urged his troops to get in order. “Democrats have never been so close to finalizing and adopting” these plans, responded Thursday the Democratic leader of the Senate, Chuck Schumer. But their fate is actually in the hands of an elected official who refuses for the moment to support them, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

Midterm elections in ambush

In view of the very thin Democratic majority in the Senate, this elected official has virtually a right of veto on these projects. He reiterated Thursday morning his concerns about their impact on US public debt and inflation. In his state, one of the poorest in America, “People are terrified by the increase in the price of gasoline, food, public services”, he assured on CNN.

One way of denouncing the expenditure deemed excessive by his party, accused of not having known how to take the pulse of the country, to the point of having lost control of Virginia on Tuesday, a state which had however mostly voted for Joe Biden at the presidential election of 2020.

An observation all the more gloomy as this election served as a dress rehearsal before future political battles: the whole country will be called to the polls for the legislative elections of mid-term in November 2022. Joe Biden’s party could then lose the control of the two chambers, which would complicate even more the passage of any large-scale reform.

The World with AFP

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US Congress to vote on Joe Biden’s investment plans