Is Biden’s Presidency Weakened as Progressives Buck His $1.75 Trillion Proposal?

( – In the last month, President Joe Biden went to Capitol Hill to try and shore up his flailing domestic agenda. Usually, when presidents visit Congress, it’s to put legislation over the top, not try to save it. Instead of securing more votes for his Build Back Better partisan reconciliation plan, he might have done more harm than good.

On Thursday morning, October 28, Biden told Democrats that his presidency and the Democratic control of Congress is on the line. Overnight, the president and moderate Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) allegedly agreed to a basic framework on how to move the contentious legislation forward. Democratic leaders hoped to hold votes on Thursday, but the Left defied House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and dashed those hopes. It seems that Progressives are more interested in their full agenda than legislative victories.

Biden’s Presidency May Be Permanently Weakened

Over the last week, Biden capitulated to the Centrists, and as suspected, he has no power or respect in Washington among the core of the Democratic base. His presidency is weaker than it already was after his approval rating tanked with voters, especially Independents who are bailing on him.

Early in the summer, socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and far-left House Democrats say they compromised when they surrendered their $6 trillion proposals and settled for a $3.5 trillion partisan plan they could pass without Republicans. Manchin and Sinema have now whittled it down to $1.75 trillion.

The Left refused to recognize that razor-thin majorities would not support their massive, transformative legislation. The numbers are simply not there to build a consensus. Sanders and the Left say they already compromised enough and do not intend to anymore.

The White House revealed that numerous progressive agenda items were taken off the table, including:

  • Medicare negotiation powers to drive down prescription drug pricing
  • Medicare benefits for dental and vision
  • A billionaire tax plan
  • A paid family leave program
  • Clean electricity program to incentivize utility companies away from fossil fuels
  • Free community college

Biden’s failure to bring the party together shows how weak his leadership is among his own party. Perhaps they believe he didn’t win the 2020 election so much as Trump lost it. For the first half of 2021, the Left believed it would get whatever it wanted despite a lack of a mandate. It hasn’t worked out that way and Biden is the one paying for it. He knows it, and the Left does as well, but they don’t care.

No One But Biden and Democrat Leadership Says There’s a Deal

It’s hard to figure out why the president said a deal for a framework is complete. After the president’s declaration, both Manchin and Sinema refused to say if they supported the supposed framework. All the two would say is progress was being made. Manchin added that it’s up to the House now, and he doesn’t have any more to say about the matter.

Sanders and the ‘Squad’ initiated an all-out rebellion. On Wednesday, the Socialist from Vermont warned if Moderates cut progressive priorities, it would be a danger to American democracy. He also drew red lines in the sand. After Biden’s statement, Sanders and House Squad members said they would not support the bipartisan infrastructure bill that’s been sitting on Pelosi’s desk for the last several months if their priorities were not in the final legislation. According to the White House, as stated above, it’s not. The socialist senator added that he wants what was taken out put back in.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) said “hell no” on the bipartisan infrastructure deal. Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) said both the bipartisan infrastructure and “human” infrastructure deal must be together.

So, here’s where we are at… a framework is not legislation, and there are no specifics. Nothing changed regarding the Left and Centrists who don’t see eye-to-eye. There are only three votes to spare in the House and none in the Senate. The longer this drags out, the harder it gets to pass. That becomes even more true depending on how Tuesday’s gubernatorial elections play out on Tuesday, November 2.

The negotiations are delicate. Last week, Manchin said he doesn’t care if the bill costs $0. He’s not invested in the Left’s full agenda.

Instead of being further ahead, Progressives are likely farther behind in negotiations.

Will one or both bills survive?

It’s not looking hopeful for the Left.

This much is true: no one is paying attention to Biden. He is weak, and the legislation is out of his control.

This is a developing and ongoing story.

Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst

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