Saturday , July 24 2021
Home / Project Syndicate / Can Biden Govern?

Can Biden Govern?

Summary:
Divided 50/50 between Democrats and Republicans, the US Senate faces either years of immobility or dramatic change. At the center of the debate over the Senate's future is the filibuster, which allows a minority of the Senate to block most legislation and can only be overridden by a super-majority of 60 votes. WASHINGTON, DC – The most significant thing that President Joe Biden said in his first prime-time address, on Thursday, March 11, was that in recent years, “We lost faith in whether our government and our democracy can deliver on really hard things for the American people.” It was now up to the slim, seemingly unassuming Biden, after decades of seeking the Oval Office, to show that America is governable.

Topics:
Elizabeth Drew considers the following as important:

This could be interesting, too:

Tyler Cowen writes What should I ask Andrew Sullivan?

Tyler Cowen writes Friday assorted links

Hans-Werner Sinn writes Europe’s Green Unilateralism

Tyler Cowen writes *The Morning Star*, by Karl Knausgaard

Divided 50/50 between Democrats and Republicans, the US Senate faces either years of immobility or dramatic change. At the center of the debate over the Senate's future is the filibuster, which allows a minority of the Senate to block most legislation and can only be overridden by a super-majority of 60 votes.

WASHINGTON, DC – The most significant thing that President Joe Biden said in his first prime-time address, on Thursday, March 11, was that in recent years, “We lost faith in whether our government and our democracy can deliver on really hard things for the American people.” It was now up to the slim, seemingly unassuming Biden, after decades of seeking the Oval Office, to show that America is governable.

Biden not only has to restore faith in federal programs, but rescue the country from the deadly virus that has killed more than a half-million Americans in a year. A few hours before his speech, Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, one of the most ambitious domestic-policy legislation ever passed.

The new law is a collection of programs to not only accelerate the end of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on society and the economy, but also begin restoring equity to who gets helped by federal legislation, for a long time tilted toward the wealthy. The new law passed the evenly divided Senate by one vote, with Republicans unanimously opposed. The House passed it by a narrow margin with Republicans unanimously opposed. (The Democrats, having lost House seats in the 2020 elections, dominate the “lower chamber” by only eight votes.)

The sprawling bill granted direct payments of up to $1,400 to most households; raised benefits for the unemployed; and expanded aid for children, for state and local governments, for schools so that children could return to classrooms and their parents...

Elizabeth Drew
Contributor to New Republic, Daily Beast, Project Syndicate, Nation (book reviews). Fifteen books, including reissue of Washington Journal, Nixon & Watergate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *