Joe Biden’s No Good, Very Bad 24 Hours
President Joe Biden on Thursday suffered tremendous setbacks to his agenda in a 24-hour period, placing Democrats in a precarious position heading into the 2022 midterms.
While congressional Democrats are searching for an agenda with which to galvanize constituents into action during an election year, Biden, whose approval rating is pegged at 33 percent, has failed to deliver substantial wins for the party to champion.
Biden’s last 24 hours saw inflation continuing to grow at record rates, the 60-vote filibuster threshold surviving the Senate, election integrity measures remaining intact, and the Supreme Court blocking his Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) vaccine mandate.
Biden and his administration responded to Thursday’s setbacks with doubled-down promises and renewed excuses.
Inflation (Producer Price Index) Increased 9.7 Percent
Thursday morning, the Producer Price Index, a metric that measures the price of goods businesses sell, increased a record 9.7 percent in 2021, the largest year-long rise since 2010. In a statement, Biden said the inflationary numbers show families are hurting under his presidency and promised to tamp down the pain.
“At the same time, this report underscores that we still have more work to do,” Biden said, “with price increases still too high and squeezing family budgets.”
When White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked about the terrible inflation numbers, she acknowledged it was Biden’s fault.
“The President has spoken to the fact that costs for Americans and the squeeze that puts on Americans is a top concern for him,” she said. “I think any president should own everything happening in the country. And the President certainly sees it that way.”
Filibuster Survives the Senate
After the inflation report, Biden met with Democrat senators for lunch to speak about terminating the filibuster. But as he did so, Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) torpedoed the effort in public statements.
Standing in the Capitol building, Biden promised he will continue to fight to kill the filibuster.
“I don’t know that we can get it done, but I know one thing: As long as I have a breath in me, as long as I’m in the White House, as long as I’m engaged at all, I’m going to be fighting to change the way these legislatures have moving,” he said.
The White House also responded to the survival of the filibuster by hosting Manchin and Sinema for dinner at the White House. Yet it seems the senators again thwarted Biden’s agenda with a “respectful” conversation.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (AP Photo/Matt York) and Sen. Joe Manchin (Jim Watson/Pool via AP)“The President hosted Senator Manchin and Senator Sinema at the White House tonight for a candid and respectful exchange of views about voting rights,” the statement read.
Democrats Election Bill Dead on Arrival
With the 60 vote threshold surviving assault, Biden’s plan to destroy election integrity was subsequently killed.
“Like every other major civil rights bill that came along, if we miss the first time, we can come back and try it a second time. the president said. We missed this time.”
“The honest to God answer is I don’t know whether we can get this done,” Biden continued. “As long as I’m in the White House, as long as I’m engaged at all, I’m going to be fighting.”
Supreme Court Blocks OSHA Vaccine Mandate
Later Thursday afternoon, the Supreme Court handed Biden defeat. In a 6-3 decision, the Court ruled Biden’s vaccine mandate for workers employed with companies employing 100 or more workers is unconstitutional.
JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images
Biden said the ruling disappointed him and believed the mandate was “grounded in both science and the law.”
“I am disappointed that the Supreme Court has chosen to block common-sense life-saving requirements for employees at large businesses that were grounded squarely in both science and the law,” Biden said.
Psaki excused Biden’s failed mandate by suggesting the White House only takes on the hardest of fights.
“We could certainly propose legislation to see if people support bunny rabbits and ice cream, but that wouldn’t be very rewarding to the American people,” she said.
White House chief of staff Ron Klain excused the failed vaccine mandate strategy as only intended to persuade the unvaccinated to get the jab.
“These requirements were used only after persuasion,” he tweeted.
Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø.