In his 100-day speech this week, Joe Biden outlined his plans for an ambitious and daring legislative agenda ahead. He previewed a two-pronged economic package: the $ 2.25 trillion US Jobs Plan and the $ 1.8 Trillion American Family Plan. He spoke about the need for universal firearms background checks, comprehensive immigration reform and the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
The success of this program depends on the ability of 50 Senate Democrats – ranging from Bernie Sanders to Joe Manchin – to come together and pass legislation. They don’t have a single voice to spare. And the person responsible for making this happen is New York Senator and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Schumer has a theory of politics that he says can hold or even win Democratic seats in 2022. It’s not a complicated theory: for Democrats to win middle voters – including those who voted for Donald Trump – they must prove that the government is really helping them. But in order to do that, the government must really help these voters, in a clear and visible way. It means adopting ambitious and bold legislation. And the institution headed by Schumer – the Senate – is the main obstacle to that.
So I invited Schumer on the show to talk about exactly how he plans to do it. How to win Trump voters? What types of economic policies can contribute to the victory of the Democrats in 2022? How should the party approach topics such as race and gender? How is he going to pass bills, such as the People’s Law, which cannot go through budget reconciliation? And, of course, what do you do with the filibuster?
(A full transcript of the episode will be available at noon.)
“The Ezra Klein Show” is produced by Roge Karma and Jeff Geld; fact check by Michelle Harris; original music by Isaac Jones; mixing by Jeff Geld.