The path ahead: Biden faces a critical moment in his presidency

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We have now arrived at a moment of truth in Biden’s presidency. So far, President Joe Biden has laid out ambitious plans to reinvent infrastructure but has been slowed down by bipartisan talks with the GOP. He also has a voting reform law, plans to tighten background checks for gun buyers, and intends to make changes to the police reform legislature, but these face some pushback from Republican leadership. The President has also not unveiled his efforts to tackle immigration reform and climate change. Historically, these two policies are highly divisive.

This week, several Republicans still loyal to former President Donald Trump, are expected to block a bipartisan, independent commission that will be investigating the insurrection on the Capitol on January 6. Biden could have cemented his authority with the economic turnaround, but perceptions on how the US economy is doing are also wildly divided. Some indicators point to a bounce-back while others highlight the uneven nature of economic recovery, dismal data on jobs, and inflation. This is more fodder for the GOP claims that Biden’s big-spending drive doesn’t deliver on its promises. 

Biden enjoyed an initial wave of public support when he won the Presidency. Voters were pleased to have elected a President who was taking the Covid-19 health crisis seriously. But, how he faces down Republican opposition to his infrastructure plans and forms common ground across the aisle will set the tone for the rest of his presidency. So far, he seems optimistic that Republicans and Democrats can reach across the aisle. However, he has stepped into a divided Washington and if he decides to go it alone (i.e try to pass his infrastructure bill with Democratic support alone), he stands to lose the perception of centrism and unity that he built his campaign on.

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