Joe Biden Just Had the Best Week of His Presidency

President Joe Biden may have the best week ever of his presidency, with three months left for the crucial midterm election to take place.

The Biden administration scored a major victory against the al-Qaeda terrorist group with the July 31 killing of leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a drone strike, while also winning at home.

It now appears highly likely that the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 will be passed by the Senate and House of Representatives next week, while the president’s own popularity seems to be ticking up.

Here’s a look at Biden’s successful week.

defense policy victory

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed this week in a drone strike ordered by President Biden, at a historic moment in the fight against the group responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Al-Zawahiri was one of the masterminds of the 2001 attacks and was Osama bin Laden’s deputy, succeeding him as leader of the organization. The drone strike in Kabul also reinforced the administration’s argument that the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan has not hampered the country’s ability to fight terrorism.

There were also several reports this week about Ukraine’s successful use of the US-supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) against the Russian military.

President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked the US for its military support and said a new defense aid package is “bringing us closer to victory.”

In a related development, the US Senate overwhelmingly approved NATO membership for Finland and Sweden after Russia’s attack on Ukraine prompted both countries to apply for a military alliance.

Biden Agenda Breakthrough

After days of speculation, it now appears that Democrats will be able to pass the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 when Senator Kirsten Cinema (D-AZ) agreed on Thursday to support it with minimal changes. Of.

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) surprised many when he came out in support of the bill, which is a revamped version of Biden’s Build Back Better agenda and aims to reduce the national deficit to $300 in an effort to reduce inflation. Billion less.

Cinema’s vote is needed to pass the bill using the budget reconciliation process in an equally divided Senate, and he, along with a few other tax-related changes, made a provision for interest deferment after the law was removed. agreed to support.

The Senate will begin voting on the bill on Saturday in the so-called vote-a-rama and could approve the law by Monday, with the Democrat-controlled House likely to pass it next week.

The bill would spend $369 billion on energy and climate change.

The Senate also passed a $280 billion bill to address the health needs of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans exposed to burn pits. Senators voted for the bill 86 to 11 after Republicans ended their opposition to the law amid significant pressure from more than 60 veteran groups and public criticism of comedian Jon Stewart.

The Veterans Bill, which had already passed the House, is the latest bipartisan victory for the administration after the bipartisan Safe Communities Act in June and the Chips Act in July.

In this combination image, US President Joe Biden salutes before delivering the 153rd National Memorial Day speech at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day on May 31, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia, background image of The Stars and Stripes, United States flag. Biden has had many successes in the past week
iStock/Getty Images

Choices and Prices

President Biden’s approval rating has been in negative territory since August 31, according to poll tracker FiveThirtyEight, and although it remained low this week, there are signs his popularity is improving.

As of Friday, FiveThirtyEight found Biden’s approval was 39.3 percent and his disapproval was 55.6 percent. This represents an upward trend from July 25, when the President’s approval was just 37.7 percent and his disapproval was 57.1 percent. It remains to be seen whether his approval rating will continue to rise.

Other polling showed some good news for Democrats as they face crucial midterm elections. A recent Monmouth University poll found that Biden’s party received 50 percent support when respondents were asked who they preferred to control Congress.

43 percent of those polled preferred Republicans, though it remains to be seen whether this is part of a broader trend. Democrats are expected to struggle to maintain control of the House and Senate in November.

Cost of living and inflation are expected to be one of the key issues in the midterm elections, but there was good news for Democrats on that front as well, as the cost of a gallon of gas has fallen after reaching record highs.

“More than half of gas stations across the United States now offer gas for less than $4 a gallon,” Biden’s official Twitter account wrote on Wednesday.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) found that as of Saturday the national average price for a gallon of gas was $4.08, a decrease from the previous day.

Hiring figures for July were also released on Friday as the country added 528,000 jobs that month – another positive economic indicator that could suggest the US is not heading into a recession despite two quarters of negative GDP growth. Used to be.

abortion and midterm

Abortion could emerge as a major issue in mid-term elections after the US Supreme Court overturned a historic precedent that held the constitutional right to abortion.

Kansas voters scored a surprise victory for abortion rights activists on Tuesday when they rejected a remedy Which would have removed abortion protection from the state’s constitution by 59 percent to 41 percent of the vote.

President Biden acknowledged the possibility of it becoming an election issue on Wednesday when he signed an executive order designed to facilitate state travel for those seeking abortions.

Biden said, “I don’t think the court has any notion of the Republican Party for that matter or for that matter … how women are going to respond. They have no idea about the power of American women.” “

“Last night in Kansas they found out,” the president said.

Biden’s best week?

political experts who spoke to newsweek said it was undoubtedly a good week for Biden, but also sounded a cautionary note.

“There is no doubt that this was the best week of Biden’s presidency,” said Professor Robert Singh of the Department of Politics at the University of London’s Birkbeck. “But everything is relative.

“It stood out largely because the past year and a half has been so lousy. It also raises the question, especially on the legislative front: Why did it take so long? If Biden’s much-anticipated LBJ-style prowess were true, he would could and should have achieved all this in his first six months. Instead, he leaned to the left of the Democratic Party and came up with measures that were impossible to garner widespread support,” Singh said.

Singh said people “should beware of irrational enthusiasm.”

“The targeted killing of al-Zawahiri was a huge success – but it raises the question of why he thought he could move to the city of Kabul and venture out with impunity on his balcony? It was about the Taliban’s promise. What do I say that it will not harbor terrorist groups. Planning an attack on the West?” They said.

“Looks like we’re back on September 10th – al Qaeda and others are now in a safe haven, reorganized and planning anew. Likewise, whether the Inflation Reduction Act works or not is a matter of concern.” Important issue. Given the ongoing crisis over energy prices, and commodities, and prior to any action by China on Taiwan, it appears that Biden’s approval rating will not experience a sustained increase,” Singh warned. .

inflation and acceptance

Thomas Gift, founding director of the Center on US Politics, University College London newsweek That this good week could encourage the White House but more needs to be done.

“For most voters, one word, inflation, is still at the top. Unless Americans get constant respite from the sticker shock every time they pull into a gas station or buy groceries at the store, Biden will have a is unlikely to see a big increase in their approvals,” Uphan said.

“Even if the Inflation Reduction Act lives up to its name – and there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical – there is unlikely to be any near-term gains,” he said.

running out of time

With the midterm nearing and the prospect of a major Republican victory, Biden may not have much time to achieve his first term goals.

Paul Quirk, a political scientist at the University of British Columbia in Canada, told newsweek That “the events of this past week will represent a large part of his legacy, and will go a long way toward making him a successful, resultant president.”

“Whether Biden’s legislative successes will help him or the Democrats is less clear politically,” Quirk said. “When policy moves to the left, the public usually moves to the right, and vice versa—in effect, keeping the direction of policy reasonably constant over time.”

Quirk said that former President Barack Obama’s successes in his first two years, such as the Affordable Care Act, “helped to produce devastating Democratic losses in the 2010 midterm elections.”

“What will help the Democrats in the mid-2022, and possibly even 2024, is their extraordinary defeat at the hands of Republicans on abortion policy,” he said. In politics, nothing succeeds like failure, done right, ” They said.

“For many, Biden is running out of time on the most important matters on the agenda for his first two years – ensuring that those attempting to reverse the 2020 presidential election are brought to justice, and so on. Legislation should be passed to strengthen defenses against attempts in 2024 and beyond,” Quirk said.

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