United States Congress | Tough negotiations behind the scenes over Joe Biden’s reforms

(Washington) The White House confirms it has never been closer to US Democrats to settle their differences over Joe Biden’s major reforms, but on Friday negotiations between elected progressive and centrist MPs promise to be more difficult than ever.

Posted October 1, 2021 at 11:00 am

Aurélia END Agence France-Presse

On Thursday evening, the Democratic President’s spokesman, who turned off the lights in the Oval office much later than usual, went to great lengths to deliver a positive message.

The too divided democratic parliamentarians had just given up on subjecting a large infrastructure financing plan to the final vote.

“We are closer than ever to an agreement,” said Jen Psaki in a statement. But it will “need more time to finish the job”.

The Democrats will therefore resume their discussions on Friday in order to avoid the parliamentary sinking of the President’s major projects.


Senator Joe Manchin with journalists after a round of negotiations on Joe Biden’s stimulus plan.

Joe Biden, who made space on his agenda to devote himself to these discussions, has promised to “rebuild America better” after the pandemic and in the face of climate change. He wants to renovate the physical infrastructure and rebuild the social architecture.

The former senator, whose popularity has waned since the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan and who is trying to get the population enthusiastic about his reforms, has to play a parliamentary multi-gang billiards.

On the one hand, there is high investment in roads, bridges, electricity grids, which are more likely to be supported by mutual agreement by several elected Republicans and, on paper, by the Democrats.

And on the other hand there is a gigantic program of social (education, health, childcare) and environmental expenditure that the conservatives do not want to hear about and that divides the democratic camp.

Their still uncertain amount was initially announced at $ 3.5 trillion.


Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema leaves a negotiating session on Joe Biden’s stimulus package.

The relationship between the two is the subject of negotiations that are certainly incomprehensible to the general public.

Progressive Democrats refuse to vote on infrastructure without guarantees of social spending. Their argument: The Middle Democrats, once the bridges and roads are funded, would like to postpone a vote on this other component to the Greek calendar.

For some Middle Democrats – the most prominent being Senator Joe Manchin and Senator Kyrsten Sinema – the question is, how much do rich and multinational corporations want to cut through tax increases and how much they deny.

But beyond this haggling, the debate revolves around the philosophy of the Biden Project, which aims to make America of the 21st century a role model for prosperity and stability vis-à-vis China.

For these centrist Democrats, and for the Republican camp as a whole, the state, even with the best of intentions, should not encroach too much on American privacy.


Joe Manchin has therefore publicly stated that he is against the development of an “assistance mentality” in a society where the cost of education, health or loss of income has historically been of individual resilience and even charity.

Meanwhile, the leftmost MPs, led by Senator Bernie Sanders, have an urgent need to correct the gaping inequalities.

And in the middle is Joe Biden trying the synthesis by repeating “I am a capitalist” at will, but also that there is a need to support the working middle class.

However, when the Democrats control Congress, their Senate majority is so small that defection is impossible. Not to mention, in a little over a year, they will very likely lose it in the midterm elections.

To further complicate matters, the Republicans who are rubbing their hands in the face of this internal war want the Democrats to be left to their own devices, again at the expense of tortuous parliamentary maneuvers to get the blame before the 18th “.

This budgetary procedure, which was long considered technical but is now caught in party political divisions, must prevent a US default with unforeseeable consequences.

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