Opinion: Biden edges toward trio of major legislative victories

President Joe Biden speaks during a visit to the NH 175 bridge over the Pemigewasset River to promote infrastructure spending Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021, in Woodstock, N.H. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Caption
President Joe Biden speaks during a visit to the NH 175 bridge over the Pemigewasset River to promote infrastructure spending Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021, in Woodstock, N.H. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Credit: Evan Vucci

Credit: Evan Vucci

The polling numbers don’t look good right now for President Biden. The national midterm election outlook definitely favors Republicans. And a number of senior Democrats have opted to retire instead of running for re-election in 2022.

But despite those political storm clouds, President Biden and Democrats still have the chance to notch three gigantic legislative wins this year — if they can get a sweeping tax and social policy package across the finish line.

“After four years of bumbling incompetence and chaos, it’s time for competence,” said U.S. Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux, D-Suwanee, who joined Democrats this Thanksgiving week in making the case to voters back home.

For U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, that meant reminding people what was in the bipartisan infrastructure bill signed into law earlier this month by President Biden.

“These are investments Georgians sent me to Washington to deliver, and that’s what we did,” Warnock said, touting almost $9 billion in federal highway money and $4.5 billion for ports and waterways in the state.

“The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is the largest federal investment in U.S. history,” said U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Lithonia.

Also hammering home those numbers was U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams, D-Atlanta, who touted money to help bring broadband to underserved areas in the state.

“This isn’t just rural Georgians,” Williams told a virtual roundtable, “we have pockets of metro Atlanta that cannot get reliable high-speed internet.”

Those arguments from Georgia lawmakers provide you with just a small taste of what Democrats in Congress are doing all around the nation — trying to remind voters what’s already been approved, and what might still happen with the ‘Build Back Better’ plan from President Biden.

“Above all, it puts us on the path to build our economy back better than before,” the President said.

At this point, Georgia Republicans can only sit on the sidelines and take verbal potshots at Democrats, hoping that the plan goes off the rails in the coming weeks.

“Here’s a word the Republican Party needs to get comfortable using,” said U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Rome. “Communism.”

But the howls and shrieks of GOP lawmakers about inflation, spending, and Pinko Commies have not stopped Democrats from successfully navigating their own internal political hurdles, getting the nearly $2 trillion social policy package over to the U.S. Senate.

“I look forward to the Senate passage of this landmark legislation as soon as possible,” said U.S. Rep. David Scott, D-Atlanta.

If Democrats can figure out the mercurial ways of U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., they could be celebrating their biggest legislative win yet — a Biden Trifecta that could arrive under the Congressional Christmas Tree.

“Even Santa needs good infrastructure,” said Williams.

Jamie Dupree has covered national politics and the Congress from Washington, D.C. since the Reagan administration. His column appears weekly in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. For more, check out his Capitol Hill newsletter at http://jamiedupree.substack.com