Biden begins selling historic infrastructure law

When President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law in 2010, then Vice President Joe Biden was by his side. A few months later, Biden and Obama watched the Democrats suffer shocking losses at the federal and state levels in the midterm elections.

Now Biden is the one who needs to sell historic legislation to the American people before the Democrats are expected to usher in another bleak mid-season. This time it was a $1.2 trillion infrastructure law, which was the largest federal investment of this kind in decades—and the largest in the history of certain industries. Biden hopes to promote the adoption of his massive social spending framework that is currently stagnating in Congress as soon as possible, which will provide funding for clean energy, childcare, tax credits, affordable housing, expanded healthcare, and other initiatives.

The challenge then and now is how to sell to voters a plan that they might not see benefit in a few years.

Two days after signing the Infrastructure Act into law, Biden visited GM’s electric car assembly plant in Detroit in good faith, where he test-drove an electric SUV and said, “That Hummer is really amazing. .”

Biden said that the Infrastructure Act will invest $7.5 billion to expand the infrastructure of electric vehicle charging stations. Although legislators are still discussing the final outline of the “rebuild better” social spending plan, the president insists that the $1.85 trillion proposal will help promote the manufacturing of electric vehicles in the United States and provide consumers with tax credits for purchasing electric vehicles. waived.

The president said: “We will ensure that future work ends in Michigan, not on the other side of the earth,” said the president. The Michigan State Congressional delegation member, General Motors Chief Executive Mary Barra, and the American Auto Workers Federation also said Wednesday. Joined the ranks. President Ray Curry and Minister of Labor Marty Walsh.

Although Biden’s speech on Wednesday emphasized the impact of these two major initiatives on the auto industry, the environment, and the creation of union jobs, on Tuesday he focused on infrastructure that is vital to rural America: roads, high-speed internet, and water supply. system.

Standing on an 82-year-old bridge over the Permigwasset River in Woodstock, New Hampshire, Biden proposed the bill to address the basic needs of people in small towns across the United States.

“This is the real thing,” Biden told about 30 residents, and snow fell on his face. “What does it mean that school buses, water treatment vehicles, and logging trucks cannot cross? This means work. This means time. This means energy.” He said that if the bridge cannot be accessed, the local fire department would need to drive 10 miles to get there. Community.

Biden’s legislation is a much-needed victory for Biden. With the continuing epidemic and inflation driven mainly by supply chain issues, Biden continues to face the party’s struggle over its landmark social safety net bill.

Biden’s infrastructure tour took place as the House of Representatives was preparing to vote on the “Rebuild Better” plan.Although the impact of the bill will be more direct, it is likely Completely passed the Democratic Party votes, Make it easier for Biden to accept Republican attacks on overspending.

Even if the Democratic agenda remains popular, his approval rating has declined.in a Washington Post ABC poll According to data released on November 14th, 63% of respondents support spending US$1 trillion on infrastructure, but only 39% of respondents approve of Biden’s approach to the economy. His overall approval rate is 41%, down from 52% in April.

On Tuesday, when the president’s motorcade passed through rural New Hampshire, he was greeted by pro-Trump and anti-Biden banners, some of which read “Mission is 4 Greed and Power,” which refers to confrontation. Rules implemented for COVID-19.On the way to the bridge where Biden was speaking, at least one protester was heard chanting “Let’s go, Brandon”, which is a slogan This has become a conservative guideline for vulgar anti-Biden statements.

“I think he needs to do almost what they are already doing, and then start selling this thing nationwide,” said Jim Manley, a senior staff member of former Senate Majority Leader Harry. Reid (D-Nevada). Manley played an important role in helping to communicate information and develop strategies around the Affordable Care Act.

“One thing we learned from Obamacare is that you can’t overcommit,” Manley said. “But you need to figure out how to accurately show people that they will benefit from what has just passed.”

The political journey of Obamacare reminds people of the importance of messaging and the long game that politicians must play while waiting for the public to accept their legislation. Republican criticism of the Affordable Care Act-including fears of rising costs and loss of beloved doctors and false rumors of “death groups”-dominated the 2010 and 2014 midterm elections.

However, by the 2018 mid-cycle, protecting Obamacare from future repeal attempts is a key component of the Democratic Party’s successful recapture of the House of Representatives. As president, Biden was able to support the health care law by reducing the cost of insurance premiums through the US rescue bill.

Jeremy Rosner, managing partner of GQR, a Democratic polling firm, said: “The White House and many Democrats will definitely be frustrated by how long it takes for people to feel the benefits of things.” “But. The Obamacare case shows that, at some point, making reasonable policies on things that affect people’s lives—such as health care, roads, or childcare—eventually… serves as a messenger to help and become a powerful asset. “

For Democrats entering next year’s midterm elections, this is no comfort. This is a lesson that Republicans learned in 2018.

“We hope that tax reform is a panacea for us to keep the House of Representatives,” said Matt Gorman, a Republican strategist who served as the communications director of the Republican campaign department of the House of Representatives during the last midterm election cycle. “Although I am glad we did it-this is a good policy-it is certainly not the panacea.”

The Democrats in the House of Representatives overthrew control of 41 Republican seats in 2018. Weak House Republicans had hoped that their legislative victory would disperse the controversy surrounding President Trump, but tax reform alone was not enough to overcome a year including the government shutdown, Russian investigations, family separation on the U.S.-Mexico border, and Legal issues of various assistants.

Gorman said that in events such as Afghanistan, the border, and inflation, Republicans may portray Biden as a “bystander” rather than a leader.

Gorman said: “You can’t pass a piece of legislation to reverse a huge trend.”

Historically, the president’s party often loses seats in Congress during midterm elections. Based on the 2022 map — currently being redrawn based on the 2020 Census — may benefit House Republicans. many analyze. Some House Democrats in competitive areas, such as John Arms of Kentucky and Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona, have announced retirement plans.

Unlike the health care bill, the infrastructure bill won the support of 19 Republicans in the Senate and 13 Republicans in the House of Representatives and is likely to maintain its popularity. The messaging challenge facing management is to distinguish between what can be done now and what will take months or years to complete. Officials emphasized that this is not the 2009 stimulus bill intended to take effect immediately. Although some funds will be used for existing projects, many projects are only in the planning stage after a year.

When asked about the implementation of the law’s $65 billion broadband service plan, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimundo told reporters earlier this month that the community will see “activities and actions” before next year’s midterm elections. But it will take “months” for the project to get started.

“Doing things well is more important than rushing,” Raimundo said. “I think people will see their state make a plan; they will see us start implementing that plan. But you know, from now on, not everyone will have broadband a year from now.”

This week, several government members, including Vice President Kamala Harris, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael S. Reagan, and Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, are promoting the bill across the country to red and blue states. These sites include areas of political importance; urban areas such as San Francisco, Atlanta, and Columbus, Ohio; and cities such as New Orleans, where Reagan will emphasize legal funding for environmental justice.

On Tuesday, Biden discussed in depth the law aimed at solving specific problems of approximately 1,300 people including Woodstock. He pointed out that the bridge on Highway 175 in New Hampshire, where he is located, “has been structurally flawed for many years.” Because the state spent $250,000, the maximum weight allowed on the bridge dropped from 40 tons to 20 tons. “Band-Aid” repairs.

He said that the Infrastructure Act will expedite meaningful repairs to bridges, many of which are on the roads in small towns such as Woodstock, which will take at least a year.

“My message to the people of New Hampshire is simple,” he said. “Because of this delegation, New Hampshire and the United States moved again. Your life will get better. This is literally.”

John reported from Los Angeles and Logan from New Hampshire.

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