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US midterms: changes coming to Biden’s term


WASHINGTON –

Joe Biden’s record is on the ballot even if his name isn’t. And no matter what Tuesday’s midterm elections bring, his presidency will see profound changes.

In public, Biden declared optimism to the end, telling Democratic officials ahead of the election that “we’re going to surprise the demon that lives out of man.” On the privacy front, however, White House aides have made contingency plans in place should Republicans take control of one or both chambers of Congress — a scenario Biden says would take his life.” more difficult”.

Regardless of the outcome, the vote will help reshape the balance of Biden’s term after an ambitious first two years and will realign his priorities in the White House.

The president, who spent the day making ballot calls to radio stations targeting Black voters and thanking Democratic campaign staff, spent election night at the House. White to track results back to the advisor. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden will speak to the nation on Wednesday about the outcome, which is certainly unfinished at the time.

The president last week urged Americans to “be patient” as votes are counted and avoid engaging in conspiracy theories, a message he is likely to repeat Wednesday about the rising profits. waiting for progressing.

Biden, in his first two years, pushed for sweeping bills to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, rebuild the nation’s infrastructure, tackle climate change, and boost competitiveness. national competition against China – all with the thinnest congressional majority. Now, aides and allies say, his focus will shift to perpetuating those interests, implementing massive legislation that – perhaps while subject to intense GOP scrutiny – sustaining those interests. maintain effective governance in an environment of even more accountability and elevate his party’s standing before the next presidential election.

Biden’s job approval has rebounded from this summer’s lows, but he’s still less of a favorite with midterm voters. According to the AP VoteCast, an extensive survey of 90,000 voters across the country, about six out of 10 disapprove of his handling of the presidency. About 4 in 10 approve.

If Republicans gain control of Congress, Biden’s allies are preparing for battles to keep the government funded and its financial obligations met, maintaining support for the Republican Party. Ukraine and defended his signature legislative achievements from attempts to abolish it. The Republican victory could also open up a host of GOP candidates that Biden has viewed as a threat to democracy for refusing to acknowledge the outcome of the 2020 presidential race, limiting his children. potential cooperation paths and pose new challenges before 2024.

The Biden administration has been preparing for months for an expected round of GOP investigations if Republicans take over one or both chambers, laying out legal and media strategies to tackle the investigations. investigating everything from the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan to the business dealings of the president’s son Hunter Biden.

Princeton University historian Julian Zelizer said that if Republicans were in power, history shows it would be “effective” for Biden to “focus on their extremism and turn new power against them.” “

White House aides and allies have been closely watching the move to demand the right to investigate or even impeach Biden. While they have pledged to cooperate on what they see as legitimate surveillance, they are eager to pinpoint a political damage to Republicans if they overreach, leaving the GOP focused on meetings. investigate instead the issues most important to American life.

The potential shift comes as Biden, at the age of 79, has repeated his intention to run for office. He will need to make a final decision soon, perhaps preparing for a rematch with former President Donald Trump, who made his own tentative announcement on November 15.

A bad midterm result doesn’t rule out a president’s re-election – historically incumbents have been favored to win another term. But Zelizer says that even presidents who try to defy history and avoid major losses or hold onto their big positions are forced to change course to balance their terms.

“What effective presidents often do, is they make it a priority to protect what they’ve already done,” he said. “And then come election time, your record, even if it hasn’t risen since midterm, it looks good. What you don’t want is it’s broken, can’t make it, and then that’s your opponent in 2024 going to say, “ Look, what he’s done is incredibly effective and ineffective.”

While tacitly acknowledging his shrinking ambitions, Biden’s midterm message to voters was largely focused on boosting his record and warning of the consequences of a GOP takeover. Bigger elements of his 2020 agenda have fallen to the lowest level in his two years of legislation – such as the expansion of free early childhood care and two years of community college – almost as not included in his speeches.

The hints he has made about what he hopes to pass in the next two years are the slim chance that Democrats will expand their slim majority in Congress: pass an assault weapons ban, Voting reform and nationwide abortion rights legislation.

On Monday, emphasizing why Biden isn’t doing more to outline what he hopes to achieve in the next two years, Jean-Pierre said: “Why not just let the country know what we do. did? Why not point that out? We have.”

The president’s advisers have highlighted the difficulties Democrats face this year, as inflation combines with historical trends unfavorable to the party in control of the White House. They maintain that Biden’s agenda remains popular with voters and accepted rather than shunned by candidates in his party – unlike 2010, when Democrats fled unpopularity. favored by the Affordable Care Act, the Obama-era health law, and continues to lose. 63 House seats and six Senate seats.

Republicans under Trump lost 40 House seats but won two Senate seats in 2018, and Democrats under Bill Clinton lost 52 House seats and eight Senate seats in 1994.

Biden’s allies have begun looking at potential areas of bipartisan cooperation that could also pay dividends in 2024 if Republicans block them, such as veterans care and lowering insulin costs for all even Americans. The Democrats’ August Health and Climate Bill limits drug costs to $35 a month for seniors.

Cedric Richmond, a former Louisiana congressman and former Biden aide who is now a top adviser to the Democratic National Committee, said Biden will focus on areas of bipartisan cooperation in the second half of his term. his first.

“Whoever gets involved, he will work to try to accomplish his goals,” says Richmond. He pointed to Biden’s ability to push through the infrastructure bill and legislation to improve health care for veterans as areas “where he brought Republicans with him, so he will continue to do what he is doing, which is to strive for achievement.”

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