OPINION

Biden wins on infrastructure but can he score with social safety net?

Nov 9, 2021, 5:42 PM
President Joe Biden walks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., on Capitol Hill in Washington,...
President Joe Biden walks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, after attending a meeting with the House Democratic caucus to try to resolve an impasse around the bipartisan infrastructure bill. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

SALT LAKE CITY — President Joe Biden enjoyed a moment of victory over the weekend after the passage of the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill on Friday.

But now the question becomes, can the President harness the momentum from that victory to pass the bigger bill outlining his social safety net

RELATED: Congress passes $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, delivering major win for Biden

Mr. Biden joked Saturday about it being “infrastructure week” in Washington, D.C.

I was glad the president could do a little self-deprecating humor because it has been infrastructure “week” for nine months.

I will give the president credit. I’m glad he could laugh about that.

He probably wasn’t laughing about Virginia, where a week ago the voters handed the governorship to the Republican candidate, Glenn Youngkin.

But President Biden reminded those listening that the governor’s race is a distraction. The real win is that bipartisanship delivered for the American voters.

“People have made clear, one overwhelming thing.  . . . They want us to deliver. . . .  Last night, we proved we can on one big item. We delivered,” Mr. Biden said.

Social safety net bill

Now the focus moves to legislation on the $1.75 trillion investment in the social safety net (child care, preschool education, paid parental leave and elder care) and climate-change policy. 

President Biden seemed confident the votes from his own party were there to pass the Build Back Better bill by Thanksgiving.

But a detractor asked: “You’re not gonna have Republican votes, though, for your Build Back Better agenda, isn’t it doomed?”

“We’re gonna see what happens in the Senate and whether or not I need only Democratic votes, which is likely,” Mr. Biden said. “And the question is can I get all of those votes? This is a process. [But] all along, you’ve told me I can’t do any of it anyway.”

Pelosi not amused

During a speech on the floor of the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi lashed out after hearing some laughs while saying the president’s social-spending proposal is paid for and reduces the national debt.

“We want to have immediate and enduring difference for the workers and families, creating jobs, securing middle-class tax cuts, lowering costs for families and making the wealthiest pay their fair share, all the while contributing to reducing the national debt.

“Did I hear a laugh over there? Did I hear a laugh from those who added $2 trillion in tax cuts for the richest people in America, 83% of it going to the top 1%? This is paid for and more than paid for.”

What’s next?

So the headline will be: The president got a win in bipartisan infrastructure.

The question and the numbers behind the headline will be: Can he parlay that into momentum in the House and in the Senate for a much bigger, much more expensive bill that’s coming in the weeks ahead?

 

Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app. 

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Biden wins on infrastructure but can he score with social safety net?