President Biden is finally having meetings with Republicans, trying to suggest it’s about his pledge to foster bipartisanship.
But, it’s not. It’s because he needs them.
Even Democrats are becoming concerned about Biden’s mass spending plans, which are potentially causing inflation, something that was dealt with during the Reagan administration 40 years ago.
As the Hill describes, the Biden plan is suddenly hitting speed bumps on Capitol Hill:
Biden has proposed more than $4 trillion in new spending on infrastructure and social spending measures, but several recent developments could make getting the measures through Congress more difficult.
A disappointing monthly jobs report has Republicans arguing that some of Biden’s proposals included in the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill are actually slowing the recovery by disincentivizing workers to get jobs.
Economists are split over the issue, but it has served as an opening for Republicans to get a toehold in the unfolding battle for public opinion on Biden’s plans.
“It’s not great,” one Democratic strategist acknowledged of the April jobs report. “And it will certainly slow down the process and any momentum Biden had in recent weeks without a doubt because Republicans will use this to show that some of these ideas being pushed aren’t sound.”
Democrats, for their part, are divided over the substance of Biden’s proposals and how best to advance them.
Some want to work on a smaller infrastructure proposal with Republicans and notch a bipartisan win ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, believing it will help the party retain its congressional majorities.
Progressives say the party must go big and worry the bipartisan talks could slow progress and upend Biden’s plans.