The slow pace of President Joe Biden’s social welfare and climate spending package has gifted Republicans with more time to criticize it before the 2022 midterm elections. President Joe Biden boards Air Force One for a trip to Connecticut to promote his “Build Back Better” agenda, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, in Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) Evan Vucci/AP

Snail pace threatens Biden spending plans

Naomi Lim October 16, 07:00 AM October 16, 07:00 AM

The slow pace of President Joe Biden’s social welfare and climate spending package has gifted Republicans with more time to criticize it before the 2022 midterm elections.

And not only can Republicans scrutinize the package’s likely $2 trillion price tag, they can ding Democrats for being in stereotypical disarray.

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Biden’s “Build Back Broke” agenda is “a socialist’s dream come true,” according to Republican National Committee spokeswoman Emma Vaughn.

“Americans do not want trillions of dollars in inflationary spending and the largest tax increase in decades, which is why voters will soundly reject Biden’s empty promises, and elect Republicans up and down the ballot come November 2022,” she said.

Former Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp, a one-time Tea Party Caucus chairman, described the Biden administration as “looking to be almost as feckless” as the president himself.

“Perhaps the only [thing] worse politically than foisting their massive Democrat socialism package onto America is Biden’s inability to get anything done,” he said. “Inflation is spiking, Christmas is in jeopardy, the economy is faltering, the border [is] falling apart, and the legislative highlight for President Biden is designating a memorial trail route.”

One Democratic strategist suggested Republicans are not experiencing the same success they did during former President Barack Obama’s first summer when the Tea Party hit him hard over his healthcare reform proposals. That is partly because it is unclear what will be in Biden’s spending package, the source told the Washington Examiner. Both sides are having trouble defining the bill, but that is not a problem since the midterm elections are more than a year away, the person said.

The Democrat’s comments are simultaneously backed and undermined by a CBS poll published this week that found more respondents knew about the cost of Biden’s spending package rather than its possible contents. While a majority approved of the measure, only a third told pollsters they believed it would help them or the economy directly.

Ronald Reagan biographer Craig Shirley disagreed with the Democrat’s 2009 comparison. He called Biden “a weakling,” adding “it is always best to attack your enemy when they are disorganized.” But as former President Donald Trump continues to exert influence over Republicans, Shirley warned they may not have “adequate generals.”

“The Right has good ground troops but has no Douglas MacArthur leading them,” he said, extending the metaphor. “You can’t beat something with nothing. You need a countervailing force. The GOP lacks both in the face of a weak president and a weak argument. The Right has ‘consultants’ and ‘talking heads,’ and that is woefully weak.”

Some Democrats have vented about their own standard-bearer’s leadership. Centrist Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has received flak from liberal colleagues for not sharing what her priorities are for Biden’s spending package, but select Democrats have similar complaints about Biden. The president, they say, is trying not to alienate important constituencies by signaling his support for cutting their favored programs. Those Democrats have downplayed the package in their districts and states, preferring instead to promote the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal, whose passage has been delayed by House liberals hoping for leverage amid spending negotiations with an evenly divided Senate. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has given talks an Oct. 31 deadline.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki acknowledged this week that “time is not unlimited” for spending package discussions. Biden and his aides are imploring lawmakers “to find a way to unify around a package that can deliver results to the American people,” she told reporters.

“He’s pressing members to move forward. He’s been very engaged over the last several days, as he has been throughout, as have members of our senior team,” she said.

But one Democratic operative insisted “it matters a lot more that we get these bills done than when we get them done.”

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“Once we get these bills passed we’re going to be able to go to voters in 2022, 2023, and 2024, and show voters how Democrats lowered costs, made it easier to be a middle-class family, and made the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share,” the staffer said.

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