Thursday, April 29, 2021

Biden goes hard left in his first 100 days; GOP has been unable to block agenda


About the only stumble in President Biden‘s aggressive move to the left during his first 100 days came when he tripped over his own feet climbing the stairs to Air Force One.

A $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, the first major test of Mr. Biden‘s domestic agenda, passed Congress without a single Republican vote. Democrats can ram through Mr. Biden‘s two-phase infrastructure and social safety-net plan, costing another $4.1 trillion, with the same narrow partisan majority.

All but two of Mr. Biden‘s highly diverse Cabinet nominees have made it through the 50-50 Senate. The exceptions are Neera Tanden, who mean-tweeted too many senators prior to her nomination to head the Office of Management and Budget, and Eric Lander, whose nomination to become the president’s top science adviser has stalled amid scrutiny of his meetings with the late sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.

Republicans have complained mightily about Mr. Biden‘s rapid and unilateral shift to the left on issues from climate policy to gun control. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell this week called it “an administration that chooses to govern like it owes everything to the radical left.”

But the GOP has been unable to modify or stop Mr. Biden‘s agenda. The most significant legislative roadblock was erected instead by the Senate’s unelected parliamentarian, who ruled that Mr. Biden‘s bid to raise the minimum wage to $15 violated budget rules.

“By any estimate, he’s succeeded in the first 100 days in proving that he’s not just a paper tiger who simply was elected because of anti-Trump feeling,” said Mac McCorkle, director of the Polis Center for Politics at Duke University. “He is not a prophet, but he is going big.”


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