“This is a real opportunity to redefine our economic profile – with an aspect of the building part and the caring part – and it could be really crucial to our party for the next 50 years,” said Celinda Lake, a Democratic pollster and advisor to Biden Campaign 2020.
Spurred on by the pandemic, Lake said, belief in government as the solution “is here for a while, and I think at least until 2022. But the other question for progressives and Democrats is how do we cement this as a permanent view of what’s the role the government and not only [intervening] during a crisis. “
Bidenworld’s bet that voters, especially those who have migrated to the party in the past four years, will reward government intervention is at odds with the strategies adopted by previous Democratic presidents early on in their government. However, Biden’s advisors insist that Americans are in no mood to reward politicians for blocking actions that, among other things, help the millions of women displaced from work when schools closed their doors to face-to-face learning .
And for Biden, whose first major legislative push was a $ 1.9 trillion Covid bailout package, the presumption is that his party and the majority of the country will champion a plan that will both fuel the economy as well as also restructured them for working families. The second component of Biden’s infrastructure package is likely to invest more in childcare, extending the new expanded child tax credit, and making community college tuition free. The administration is also expected to include provisions on universal preschool and expand the subsidies of the Affordable Care Act in their as-yet-to-be-announced next legislative push.
“Since Reagan, the ‘let’s downsize government’ concept has been quite popular with some people,” said Rep. Susan Wild (D-Pa.), A swing state member who has been a long-term nurse. “And yet the truth is that when there was a global health emergency, we found that some things really do need government and a lot can be achieved – not just on the health side, but also on the health side of it. “
“I think that has broadened people’s mindsets about government and the right role for government,” added Wild.
Republicans are unwilling to admit that the era of great government has begun again. The party is already trying to target the cost of Biden’s plans while arguing that much of the new government’s proposals do not fall under the traditional infrastructure umbrella.
Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), Chairman of the Republican National Congress Committee, said this week that the Democrats are trying to fund a “radical left socialist agenda.” Senate Minority Chair, Mitch McConnell, broadly dismissed the infrastructure bill as “another round of massive spending with a huge tax hike.”
And former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie chuckled at the huge federal spending on caring for children and the elderly. “Now the” care industry “is an infrastructure,” he said in ABCs “This Week”. “The care industry. I don’t even know what the hell the nursing industry is. “
White House officials and their Democratic allies in Congress are pushing back, trying to shape a debate they expect will play an important role in the medium term. This could complicate efforts by Republicans to bring traditional GOP voters back to their knees in 2024.
“If you want to argue about whether or not these things, which are fundamental to families’ ability to put food on the table and do their job, are infrastructure, this is a fight we welcome” said Kate Bedingfield, White House communications director.
MP Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo) said that given the many desires within his party, Biden must “hold the line”. However, he acknowledged that the plan’s tax increases, which were included as a provision to pay for the first part, pose a risk.
“The only part that is dangerous is if the Republicans are one step ahead of the Democrats in messaging, they can portray it as a tax hike,” Cleaver said, suggesting that the Democrats must be ready to reciprocate that Taxes in the infrastructure package do not apply to the US for majority of Americans.
“It doesn’t affect everyday people, but the danger, of course, is people saying, ‘The president is raising your taxes,” said Cleaver. “Well, most people won’t understand that when they say that they are raising your taxes, only speaking to a handful of people who collectively make more than 200 million Americans. The Republicans were masterful at this type of news. “
The battlefield that a lot of this will play out on is likely to be the suburbs. Biden’s 2020 campaign aimed to diversify communities and purge Republicans and Independents with former President Donald Trump. And in turn, suburban voters were crucial in several key states, including Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Georgia. In Peach State, some of the same election blocs helped Democrats score surprise Senate victories weeks after Biden’s own victory.
House Democrats have begun targeting an initial list of nearly two dozen GOP-held districts whose representatives have voted against Biden’s bailout plan and its direct payments to Americans.
While their focus in upcoming legislation is on taxes, the vulnerability for Republicans is that the specific guidelines enshrined in Biden’s plan for the care industry remain as popular as they are today and become crucial achievements for Democrats. A Consult Politico / Tomorrow The poll, conducted through March 29, found that suburban voters have a strong majority in favor of extending the child tax credit (60 percent). free community college (58 percent); universal pre-k (57 percent) and expansion of Obamacare subsidies (57 percent).
In more than five dozen competitive Congressional districts, a recent Hart Research poll commissioned by advocates of paid vacation composed of workers, civil rights, and other groups found that 67 percent of Republicans and 87 percent of Democrats are in favor of laws to keep workers up to 12 weeks to give paid leave if they have a serious health condition, are looking after a family member or have a child. The support is fairly consistent across all regions and districts.
House Democrats this week promised to include paid family and sick leave for every worker in the infrastructure package, and proponents are calling on Biden to support a national program that gives workers 12 weeks of paid family and sick leave through direct payments. They believe they could go through a budget vote.
Like the White House with its nearly $ 2 trillion Covid relief plan, they are already contrasting the acceptance of paid vacation programs by local Republicans and the opposition of national Republicans in Washington.
Colorado voters last fall Passed a paid family and sick leave measure with the support of counties that voted for Trump. In Massachusetts, the paid family and sick leave program was signed into law by Republican Governor Charlie Baker started issuing benefits that year. Republican in Washington state played a key role in negotiating the paid family and sick leave program that came into force last year.
“The pandemic has only underscored the detrimental effects on women’s participation in the labor force, health and well-being, and economic security when people do not have access to paid vacation,” said Vicki Shabo, senior fellow on paid vacation policy and strategy at New America Better Life Lab, addressing the politics of the subject.
“This is a long overdue policy that has both the ability to affect any working family and the potential to show voters and citizens across the country that the government can develop a program that works for them and their kitchen table needs corresponds, “said Shabo.
Higher education advocates are offering similar free college pitches, pointing out narrow congressional districts where youth turnout has risen sharply in the recent elections, and reminding Biden that he will be the last Democratic candidate among voters aged 18-29 has surpassed. Advocates of strengthening care for the elderly, such as Rep. Wild, want to build the home care worker support network so that families without the necessary resources or access to assisted living facilities are not forced to fend for themselves.
Republicans who oppose the package will pay a political price, Wild predicts. Ultimately, however, she believes that her fear of joining Biden is greater than any risk of facing him.
“Unfortunately, I suspect the GOP recognizes the importance of it, but they don’t want to go through with it because it looks like a victory for Democrats,” she said. “What gets to the point, what I always say is wrong with Washington: Neither side ever wants to give the other side a ‘victory’. So, let’s all figure it out and call it a joint victory.”
With reports by Laura Baron Lopez and Natasha Korecki