United States – Congress adopts Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan

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Congress passed the major infrastructure investment plan that Joe Biden wanted last Friday. A half-hearted victory for the US President.

Joe Biden is facing a decline in popularity a year after the midterm parliamentary elections.

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The US Congress finally adopted on Friday night the huge infrastructure investment plan that Joe Biden wanted, a victory achieved in pain by the Democratic president, who was unable to convince parliamentarians to also vote on the social and ecological aspect of his ambitious reform projects.

It took 218 votes for the Democrats to pass this $ 1,200 billion (1,100 billion francs) plan to modernize roads, bridges, high-speed internet and be considered one of the most ambitious in history. modern Americans. They achieved 228 against 206, thanks to the contribution of some Republican votes, and the approval of the law was met with a round of applause. The president only has to sign it for it to take effect.

Joe Biden, who has an urgent need to revive his presidency, hoped Friday morning to be able to advance two major texts in the House of Representatives: this investment plan and a comprehensive program to review the social protection system and the fight against global warming. valued at $ 1.7 trillion. (1600 billion francs). Total expenditure of about 3000 billion (2740 billion francs) over a decade.

The democratic leaders had to give up a vote on the approval of the second text, the center wing of the party demanded clarification of the figures. The moderate and progressive fringes of the party finally agreed on a procedural vote with the aim of starting the parliamentary process.

save the furniture

By adopting the only infrastructure program Friday night, Democrats are rescuing furniture despite the deep divisions running through their party. Joe Biden, who faced a decline in popularity a year before the midterm parliamentary elections, assured that his comprehensive social program for his part would have to be voted on by Parliament by the week of November 15, before the Senate does not get it. that.

The latter provides, in particular, a kindergarten for all, a profound improvement in health coverage and significant investments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – a real redefinition of the welfare state in the United States. But he is the subject of very difficult negotiations within the Democratic Party, between the left wing and the moderate camp.

Throughout the day, the Democratic president of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, has been trying to get her troops in working order and build support for the president’s plans. “The program we are presenting is innovative, historic, and that is what makes it a challenge,” she said in a letter to Democrats, as if to explain these internal strife between elected members of the party.

The progressive wing of the Democratic Party had repeatedly warned that it would not support the text on infrastructure without a guarantee of review of Joe Biden’s social and climate component. Some elected Democrats thus joined the Republicans in voting “no” to the adoption of the plan.

In the hands of Senator Manchin

Biden’s trips to the Capitol, breakfast with elected representatives … The White House has not spared any effort in recent weeks to get support. Because the U.S. Executive is repeating it over and over again: The President’s spending programs are very popular among Americans.

But Democrats will challenge their narrow majority in Congress in a year’s time in midterm parliamentary elections, which are always dangerous for incumbent presidents. But Joe Biden, who during the presidential campaign boasted of his negotiating skills due to his long career as a senator, encounters these internal strife. And the president is not done with his problems.

If, after mid-November, it receives the green light from elected representatives in the Chamber, its major social component will still have to be approved by the Senate, where it risks being changed significantly. Its fate is more specifically in the hands of an elected West Virginia official, Senator Joe Manchin, who says he fears the plan will further deepen public debt and boost inflation.

From Friday night, however, he welcomed the adoption of the text on infrastructure, an unprecedented investment “for three decades”. Given the very thin democratic majority in the Senate, he has virtually the right to veto presidential projects.

(AFP)

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