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Monday, January 24, 2022

Frustrated Democrats Call for ‘Reset’ Before Midterm Elections

WASHINGTON. With the White House’s legislative agenda in tatters less than a year before the midterms, Democrats are sounding the alarm that their party could suffer more losses than expected if the president doesn’t change strategy.

Frustrations run the gamut from the disillusionment of the party’s liberal wing, which feels overwhelmed by its inability to adopt a bold agenda, to the anxiety of moderates, who are worried about the loss of swing voters from the suburbs and believed that a Democratic victory would lead to a return to normalcy. after last year’s shock.

Democrats have already foreseen a difficult medium-term situation, given that the ruling party historically loses seats during the first presidential term. But the party’s struggle to realize its most important legislative priorities has worried lawmakers and strategists who fear their candidates will have to contend with the perception that the Democrats have failed to deliver on President Biden’s key campaign promise to reset a broken Washington.

“I think millions of Americans are very demoralized—they ask what the Democrats stand for?” said Senator Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Independent who chairs the Senate Budget Committee. In a lengthy interview, he added: “Obviously the current strategy is failing and we need a major course correction.”

Representative Tim Ryan, a Democrat from a working-class Ohio district who is running for an open seat in the state Senate, said his party is not addressing voters’ concerns over school closures, the pandemic and economic security. He blamed the Biden administration not only for failing to deliver on its domestic agenda, but also for a lack of clear public health guidance on issues like mask wearing and testing.

“It looks like Democrats can’t get out of their way,” he said. “Democrats need to better understand what they’re trying to do.”

Complaints ended one of the worst weeks of the Biden presidency as the White House faced the impending failure of voting rights legislation, the failure of their mandate to vaccinate or test for large employers in the Supreme Court, inflation rising to 40-. years and friction with Russia due to aggression towards Ukraine. Meanwhile, Mr. Biden’s top domestic priority — a vast $2.2 trillion spending, climate and tax policy plan — remains stalled not only by Republicans but also by opposition from the centrist Democrat.

“I’m sure they’re disappointed – I’m disappointed,” Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the second Senate Democrat, said when asked this week about the House’s failure to act on Mr. Biden’s agenda. Discussing the impact on voters ahead of the midterm elections, he added: “It depends on who they blame.”

The end of the week was another painful marker for Democrats: On Friday, for the first time since July, millions of American families with children did not receive monthly child support, a payment set under the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief plan the Democrats pushed through. in March without any Republican support.

Plans to extend payments that have helped lift millions of children out of poverty have been thwarted by the failure of negotiations over a sprawling domestic policy plan. The additional pandemic-related provisions will expire before the end of the year without action by Congress.

“It’s as simple as it gets,” Mr. Ryan said. “If Democrats can’t get tax cuts for working families, what are we for?”

In recent days, Mr. Biden has faced a wave of growing anger from supporters of mainstream parties. Members of some civil rights groups boycotted his Atlanta voting rights speech to express their frustration with his push for the issue, while others, including Stacey Abrams, who is running for governor of Georgia, were conspicuously absent. Mr. Biden promised a powerful new push for voting rights, but it failed the next day.

And last week, six of Mr. Biden’s former public health advisers went public with their criticism of his handling of the pandemic, urging the White House to adopt a strategy focused on a “new normal” of living with the virus indefinitely. Others have called for the firing of Jeffrey Zients, who leads the White House pandemic response team.

“No one seems to grasp the urgency of the moment,” said Tre Easton, senior advisor to the Battle Born Collective, a progressive group. it insists on overthrowing the filibuster to allow the Democrats to pass on a number of their priorities. “It’s like, ‘OK, what’s next?’ Will something happen that voters can say, “Yes, my life is much more stable than it was two years ago.”

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White House officials and Democrats insist their agenda is far from over and that discussions with key lawmakers are ongoing to enact the bulk of Mr. Biden’s domestic plans. Negotiations on a comprehensive package to keep the government open after Feb. 18 have quietly resumed, with states starting to receive $1 trillion in infrastructure bill funds.

“I think the point is that the agenda is not decided in one year,” said Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary.

While there is widespread agreement on the electoral danger the party faces, there is no consensus on exactly who is to blame. Liberals have been particularly scathing in their criticism of two centrist senators, Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Kirsten Cinema of Arizona, and their longstanding objections to undermining the Senate filibuster, as well as Mr. Manchin’s decision to vehemently reject the $2.2 trillion spending plan. last month. For months, Democratic lawmakers, activists and officials have raised concerns about falling support among critical segments of the party coalition — blacks, women, youth and Hispanic voters — with many fearing that ratings could fall even further if action is not taken to issues like voting rights, climate change, abortion rights and paid family leave.

“In my opinion, we will not win the election in 2022 if our base is not activated and ordinary people do not understand what we are fighting for and how we are different from the Republicans,” Mr. Sanders said. – Now it is not so.

But many in the party acknowledge that the realities of their narrow majority in Congress and the united Republican opposition have blocked their ability to carry through much of their agenda. Some accused party leaders of catering to progressive ambitions without having the votes to carry them out.

“The leadership has chosen a bad strategy, and while I think they may be able to report that they tried, it’s not really going to create real laws,” said Rep. Stephanie Murphy, a centrist from Florida who is leaving retired, but declared her aspirations. for a future run for the Senate.

Representative Cherie Bustos, a rural Illinois Democrat, said Democrats should consider less ambitious bills that could garner some Republican support to give the party the gains it can claim in the midterms.

“We really need to reboot at this point,” said Ms. Bustos, who is retiring from the district that passed to Donald J. Trump in 2020. “I hope we focus on what we can do and then focus like crazy. about its sale.

Mr. Biden has effectively bet on his presidency, believing that voters will reward his party for leading the country out of a deadly pandemic and bringing economic prosperity. But even after a year that saw record job growth, widely available vaccines and stock market booms, Mr. Biden hasn’t begun talking about success or focusing on promoting his legislative victories.

Many Democrats say they need to do more to sell their gains or risk seeing the midterms go down the path of a year-end election, when many in the party were surprised by the intensity of the backlash against them in the Virginia, New Jersey races. and USA. New York.

“We need to be promoting and selling, not moaning and moaning,” said Bradley Beychok, president of Democratic group American Bridge 21st Century.

Others say that as president, Mr. Biden has lagged behind many voters by focusing on issues like climate change and voting rights. While these topics are critical to the country, they are not high on the list of concerns for many voters who are still grappling with the uncertainty of the pandemic, now in its third year.

“The administration is focused on things that are important but not particularly visible to voters, and sometimes you, as president, have to do that,” said Matt Bennett, co-founder of The Third Way, a moderate Democrat think tank. “Now we need to get back to talking about things that people care about.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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