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These are Joe Biden’s priorities if he wins a second term. The Republican Party could put them down

President Joe Biden had one of the most prolific first two years of any recent president.

Despite a narrow margin in the House of Representatives and a divided Senate, he managed to pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill, a massive climate and health care bill, a mammoth covid-19 relief package, the first major gun legislation in nearly 30 years, a law to boost US semiconductor manufacturing and protections for same-sex and interracial couples.

But still he faced incredible obstacles. On the one hand, two members of the Senate Democratic caucus, Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, continued to support the filibuster, the 60-vote threshold that has barred more progressive parts of their agenda from passing. His opposition to more spending and higher taxes, respectively, also killed his Build Back Better social spending bill, while support for the filibuster essentially postponed attempts at police reform, voting rights, and a gun ban. assault.

Biden, a Catholic who sometimes seemed uneasy when speaking out about abortion, received perhaps the biggest jolt to his national agenda in June 2022 when the Supreme Court handed down its Dobbs vs. Jackson decision nullifying abortion protections enshrined in Roe vs. Wade. But so far Congress has been unable to pass legislation to cement the right to abortion.

As Biden prepares to announce his re-election bid as soon as Tuesday, April 25, let’s take a look at some of the top policy priorities the president will look to bring to the finish line if he secures a second term.

As a senator, one of Biden’s signature achievements was passing an assault weapons ban in 1994 that finally expired in 2004 during the George W. Bush presidency. Biden has invoked the need to pass such a ban in the wake of a series of mass shootings in recent months.

“I have done everything within my executive authority to do, on my own, anything gun-related,” he said in March after a mass shooting at a school in Nashville, Tennessee.

“Most Americans think having assault weapons is weird. It’s a crazy idea. They are against it. So I think Congress should pass the assault weapons ban,” he said.

In addition to Mr. Biden’s desire to ban assault weapons, he has also reiterated the need to pass legislation to codify now-defunct protections in Roe vs. Wade. In May of last year, when the Dobbs When an opinion leaked before the final ruling, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer prepared a vote on the House-passed Women’s Health Protection Act, but Manchin joined all Republican senators in opposing it. , which eliminated the bill.

Biden promised that, given the opportunity, he would codify the protections of Roebut it will need a large majority in Congress to do so.

To bring Mr. Manchin down, Mr. Schumer and Mr. Biden reduced the environmental aspects of Build Back Better in what eventually became the Cut Inflation Act. While the law was the largest piece of legislation to combat the climate crisis, if he were to win another term, Biden would likely seek more legislation to mitigate rising temperatures. Similarly, Manchin’s opposition to paid family leave stymied efforts to pass it, but if Biden had a larger majority in Congress, it’s likely he could still pass it.

Biden’s second term agenda will require the cooperation of Congress. And even if Biden somehow wins re-election and his coattails can help Democrats flip the seats needed to regain a House majority, he could still end up with a minority in the Senate, effectively dooming any chance of major legislation in The congress. The 2024 elections will feature Senate races in five states where Biden won: Arizona, Nevada, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. But three seats held by Democrats will be up for grabs in states that Donald Trump won twice: Ohio, West Virginia and Montana.

So far, Senators Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Jon Tester of Montana have announced that they will each seek a fourth term. But Manchin, whose state has gone overwhelmingly Republican, has yet to announce his reelection.

If none of those senators win re-election but all the Democrats in the states Biden won, Democrats would end up with a 48-51 minority in the Senate.



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