Midterm Elections Leave Biden’s Path Forward With Congress Uncertain

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It was not clear if President Joe Biden’s journey to legislative success was surprisingly easy or significantly more difficult the day following the midterm elections.

This is because both houses of Congress were still up in the air when Biden spoke to reporters at the White House. He stated that he lost “less seats in the House of Representatives” than any Democratic president during his first midterm election in 40 years.

As of writing, Republicans appear to be poised to win a majority of the House. However, this is still a far cry from what was expected. Their chances of capturing the Senate are much slimmer, if not after another Georgia runoff in December. This would make it very difficult for Biden to pass any additional legislation before the 2024 elections, and the end his term.

The White House and Biden still hope that they will get the votes on Capitol Hill for more.

“Regardless of the final results of these elections, and there are still some counting, I’m ready to work with my Republican coworkers. He said that the American people have made it clear that they expect Republicans will be willing to work with them. “But, I’m willing to compromise with Republicans when it makes sense on other issues. And I always put the needs of the American people before my own.”

Biden portrayed himself as a bipartisan deal-maker during his 36-year tenure as a senator for Delaware and as President Barack Obama’s point person on the Hill during his two terms in office. He also has a long history in partisanship.

Both of these tendencies have been evident during Biden’s presidency. Two major spending bills were passed through the reconciliation process. They were designed to avoid any cooperation with Senate Republicans and only pass with Democratic votes. However, his infrastructure bill, guns bill and veterans care legislation for victims of toxic burn pits were all bipartisan.

Brad Bannon, a Democratic strategist, stated that President Biden’s resume suggests that his first instinct will be for the GOP majority to work with him. But that won’t last very long. Because of the ideological differences between the two parties, the president and Congress won’t find much common ground.

After the 1994 midterm elections, Congress Republicans gained control of both chambers. President Bill Clinton made scorched earth threats to them and helped him win reelection. He also collaborated with them to reform welfare, including delivering the first balanced federal budget in over 40 years and reducing the capital gains tax.

Obama was less successful in working with Republicans after his 2010 win in the House and 2014 in the Senate. However, his fiscal standoffs with Republicans, which Biden suggested during the campaign trail, were less successful after they won the House in 2010 and the Senate in 2014. Budget sequestration did result in some spending concessions.

This may seem like a lot to ask for in the midst of a presidential campaign.

Christian Ferry, a Republican strategist and candidate for Biden, stated that “I don’t see anything from the past two years that would suggest either the president nor Republicans in Congress are ready” on Election Day. “The most likely scenario is that 2024 starts tomorrow.”

This could make it more difficult for Biden and congressional Republicans, as well as GOP heavyweights Governors, to use one another as political foils. Ron DeSantis, former President Donald Trump, are still in the background.

Bannon stated, “Then all hell shall break loose as both sides draw sharp contrasts among themselves to set the scene for the presidential campaign.” Trump’s presidential campaign will poison atmosphere, increase conflict and bring down any hope of compromise.

Biden has not yet decided whether he will run for reelection, but he said that he intends to run subject to his health and family considerations. Biden will make the final decision in the early part of next year.

He was already a bit smug when reporters asked him about what he would do to change the country’s direction, despite exit polls that showed deep dissatisfaction, even though Democrats were ahead of expectations.

Biden stated, “Nothing,” “I don’t intend to change anything fundamentally.”