Democrats face critical 72 hours

Biden support among Democrats in first presidential primary state drops

This week is shaping up to be a make-or-break week for President Biden’s economic agenda.

Democratic leaders are racing over the next 72 hours:

  • To secure a framework deal on their social benefits plan
  • It a crucial step before the president heads overseas for a global climate summit
  • And voters go to the polls next week in gubernatorial contests in New Jersey and Virginia

The races could make or break the party’s momentum heading into the 2022 midterms.

Biden’s approval rating has plummeted in recent months, and Democratic leaders are scrambling to give him a victory and divert attention away from the high-profile infighting that has dominated Washington for weeks.

A quick strategy for boosting Democrats would be to move a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill approved by the Senate in August through the House and to Biden’s desk — a tactic favored by moderate Democrats.

But that proposal has been stuck in limbo for weeks, with House liberals insisting on a deal on the larger social spending package before supporting the more popular public works bill. The challenge for Democratic leaders this week is to accomplish both before Biden’s climate summit.

Democrats are becoming increasingly optimistic about reaching an agreement this week, despite missing a self-imposed deadline on Friday.

Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), one of two Democratic holdouts obstructing Biden’s agenda, gave party leaders reason to be optimistic on Monday, predicting that negotiators “should be” able to reach a framework agreement this week.

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