Its popularity has fallen to all-time lows. Problems pile up on your doorstep. Foreign policy turns against him. And the prospects for the next few months are not much better. This is how the president of the United States faces the last few weeks, the hardest since he sits in the Oval Office. Joe Biden is at his first big turning point and arrives without the best cards in his hand.
Economically, the tenant of the White House has bet his entire political future on the approval of an ambitious spending plan of 3.5 billion dollars that reinforces all fronts, from education to foreign policy, from the fight against change. climate to assistance to the most disadvantaged. But the spectacular investment goes hand in hand with a major tax reform for the wealthiest, and neither alternative will be supported by Republicans. Even moderate Democrats question the high spending and the progressive nature of the initiatives he intends to fund.
In fact, the White House tenant has so far not been able to find support for his infrastructure plan, an investment that both parties consider necessary to modernize the country and create jobs . Republicans refuse to support “a massive tax increase and add trillions to the national debt,” in the words of Republican leader Mitch McConnell.
To this will be added the negotiation of two key aspects of the economy in the coming weeks. Legislators must approve a new federal budget for the next fiscal year before the end of the month and, if they fail to do so, they will have to close federal institutions except for non-essential services, as has already happened to Trump on two occasions. In addition, throughout October they should expand – or suspend – the spending ceiling or, otherwise, the country will stop paying its debts and social benefits and will default, which would put the economic recovery in check .
Coronavirus and immigration
First, the management of the pandemic is not being as successful as expected. The number of new infections has skyrocketed to an average of about 150,000 cases a day, and about 2,000 deaths a day . The curve, although not as high as last fall, has recovered after the summer much earlier than in 2020 despite mass vaccination – or perhaps as a result of the relaxation of preventive measures. But that the current figures, in September, are equivalent to those of November and December of last year does not augur a hopeful autumn or winter.
On the other hand, Biden has ordered the return of thousands of Haitian asylum seekers who crowd the Texas border in recent days, increasing the number of irregular immigrants entering the country. It is estimated that more than 14,000 Haitians have arrived in the city of Del Rio in recent weeks , and the pace of deportations is expected to increase in the coming days to bring immigrants to their country of origin, even more impoverished and shaken after last August’s earthquake and storm Grace and the assassination of its president. Biden is already receiving criticism within the Democratic Party itself about it.
Anger of the allied countries
Nor is foreign policy being a bed of roses for Biden. The fact advance the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan no apparent reason, wreaking havoc, has not been seen either at home or outside its borders. As has not been his identification of the Afghan army as guilty of the rapid advance of the Taliban in taking over the country and especially its capital, Kabul.
And when this hasty withdrawal is just beginning to fade in memory, the defense agreement between the US, the United Kingdom and Australia opens a new diplomatic gap, in this case with France, which could have repercussions on NATO. This military alliance to keep China at bay involves equipping Australia with nuclear submarines, which will break the agreement it had with France, which amounted to more than 40,000 million dollars. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has compared Biden to Trump and has accused both countries of “lies” and “contempt.”
All this has taken its toll on the surveys. The latest Gallup data, from the first half of August, indicated that the population grants only 49% approval to their work , while the Ipsos figures for this week drop that percentage to 44%. In both cases they are historical lows of its popularity.