Looks like we may have to wait a while longer for anything approaching the latest iteration of President Biden’s signature legislation the Build Back Better Act (“BBB”) to pass through congress. A recent contributor to “Letters and Commentary” opined that Mitch McConnell, and the delusional republicans were unwilling to pass Biden’s signature BBB bill. The overall cost of the bill is between $1.75 trillion (Dems) and $5.0 trillion (CBO) and includes enhancements to existing social welfare programs like Medicare and Medicaid and adds important new social programs including childcare credits and universal pre-k, plus climate change programs.
Of course, it turns out you don’t need any Republicans, delusional or not, to be able to pass the bill since Democrats already have the majority. Unfortunately, Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin voted against it, so it didn’t pass, greatly frustrating his colleagues. He didn’t feel he could vote for that level of spending and further move the country toward an “entitlement society.”
Further complicating the bill’s passage which was intended to appease both moderates and progressives, was the lack of public support. The public’s number one concern right now is the 6.8% rate of inflation. Loading up with more deficit spending in an inflationary environment is a tough sell and current support for the bill is only 38% (Rasmussen).
After only 11 months in office Biden’s own approval ratings are under water at 41%. His spectacular ongoing policy disasters, foremost among them the botched Afghan withdrawal; open borders; and the highest inflation rate in 40 years make it hard to garner needed public support. President Biden badly needs a win and this was supposed to be it.
President Biden’s agenda is mostly a progressive agenda, but he has a mostly moderate group to govern. Did he over promise the progressives? They have threatened not to vote with Democrats if the BBB bill isn’t passed. Mr. Biden will need to negotiate with both sides or else face similar split votes. Fewer executive orders and doing the hard job of bipartisan legislation would serve the country well and help unify the nation.
2021 is over! Why not focus on energy prices and border security and start 2022 with a win.