WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden has a simple reelection pitch to voters: let him “finish the job.”
So what does this mean? What remains for him to do?
Contrary to Donald TrumpThe front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination who has released videos and statements detailing his agenda, Biden has not officially revealed his plans as part of his campaign.
But his ambitions are no secret, and his goals on child care, community colleges and prescription drugs have been laid out in detail during the Democrat’s first term. He also has broken promises on civil rights, such as protecting access to the ballot box, preventing police misconduct, and restoring the nation’s right to abortion. Banning firearms known as assault rifles also remains a priority.
The result is a second-term agenda that could look a lot like Biden’s first term, with some of the same policy challenges. Almost none of this can be accomplished without cooperation from Congress, and many of these goals have already been blocked or scaled back because of opposition on Capitol Hill.
Biden scored bipartisan victories on infrastructure projects and government funding for the nation’s computer chip industry. But Democrats would need to secure large majorities in the House and Senate to pave the way for the rest of his plans.
“We’re going to finish as much work as we can over the next year,” said Bruce Reed, Biden’s deputy chief of staff. “And finish the rest after that.”
Biden’s campaign expressed confidence that the president’s agenda would compare well with Republicans’ in next year’s elections. Kevin Munoz, a spokesman, described the election as “a choice between fighting for the middle class or fighting for wealthy special interests” and said that “it’s a contrast we’re more than happy to make.” to do “.
Another difference between Biden and Trump doesn’t fit neatly into the policy white papers, but it goes to the heart of their policy foundation. Biden has made defending American democracy the cornerstone of his administration, while Trump has attempted to overturn his 2020 election defeat.
The outcome of the 2024 campaign could reshape not only government policy but also the future of the country’s core institutions.
Biden’s plans are expensive and he doesn’t want to increase the deficit, which means he’s looking to raise taxes on the rich.
He has already succeeded in implementing a minimum tax of 15% on companies with annual revenues exceeding $1 billion.
Biden has proposed raising the top tax rate to 39.6%, the corporate tax rate to 28% and the tax on stock buybacks to 4%.
He wants a minimum tax of 25% for the richest Americans, a levy that would apply not only to income but also to unrealized capital gains. The idea, which Biden called “minimum tax on the income of billionaires” This could prove difficult to implement, not to mention extremely difficult to pass through Congress, given Republican opposition to higher taxes.
SOCIAL SERVICES AND HEALTH CARE
Biden’s initial signature plan was known as the Build Back Bettera cornucopia of proposals that would have radically changed the role of the federal government in the lives of Americans.
It was reduced due to resistance from Senator Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat who represents a key vote in a closely divided Senate and announced last week that he would not seek reelection. The result was the inflation reduction lawwhich included financial incentives for clean energy and limits on prescription drug costs, but not many other programs.
Biden will want to bring back ideas that were left in the editing room. This includes making two years of tuition free at community colleges, providing universal preschool, and limiting the cost of child care to 7 percent of income for most families.
He also wants to resurrect the expanded child tax credit. The American Rescue Plan, the pandemic relief legislation, increased the credit to $3,000 for children over six and $3,600 for children under 6. The expansion has become obsolete after a year, he reduced the credit to $2,000 per child, while his initial package was frozen.
There is still work to be done on prescription drugs. The monthly cost of insulin was capped at $35 for Medicare beneficiaries. Biden wants the same limit for all patients.
The White House recently announced the creation of a new office dedicated to prevent gun violence. Biden too legislation signed this is intended to help authorities keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and other dangerous people.
But Biden’s biggest goal, a ban on so-called assault weapons, remains out of reach due to Republican opposition. Such a ban was in effect from 1994 to 2004, but it was not extended after its expiration. Although the proposal was not detailed, it would likely affect popular high-powered weapons such as the AR-15, which can fire dozens of rounds at a rapid rate.
Another item on the wish list is universal background checks, which increase scrutiny of sales made at gun shows or other unlicensed means.
Biden took office at a time of national upheaval over the role of racism in policing and the future of democracy. George Floyd, a black man from Minneapolis, was murdered by a white police officer and Trump attempted to overturn Biden’s election victory, leading to the January 6, 2021 riot at the United States Capitol.
Biden promised to address both issues through historic legislation, but he fell short of his goals.
When it comes to policing, bipartisan negotiations at the Capitol have failed to produce an agreement, particularly when it comes to facilitating prosecution of allegations of misconduct. So Biden instead drafted a decree with the contribution of activists and the police. The final version changes federal law enforcement rules, but it doesn’t change much about how local departments do their jobs.
He also published a decree on the right to vote which aims to expand registration efforts. But Democratic legislation intended to consolidate ballot access failed to advance when some in the party refused to circumvent the Senate’s filibuster rules to pass it.
Biden’s presidency was upended by the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, who guaranteed access to abortion throughout the country. This proved to be a potential campaign issue for Democrats, but they had less success in Congress. Biden has said that if his party wins more seats, he will push for legislation codifying abortion rights.
On his first day in office, Biden sent Congress his proposal to overhaul the nation’s immigration system. The idea came to nothing.
But the president would like to take a new turn on the issue during a second term. This topic will prove especially urgent as migrants continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border and the country seeks the next generation of workers to meet its economic goals.
Biden wants to allow people who are in the United States illegally to apply for legal status and eventually citizenship. He also wants a smoother and expanded visa process, particularly for foreign graduates from American universities. These measures would be combined with additional resources for border control.
UKRAINE AND ISRAEL
Biden faces two wars on two continents, and the fallout from each conflict will shape a second term even if the fighting ends before then.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been going on for nearly two years, and Israel and Hamas began their latest clash about a month ago. Biden wants to send military support to Ukraine and Israel, which he describes as “vital” to the national security interests of the United States.
“History has taught us that when terrorists do not pay the price for their terrorism, when dictators do not pay the price for their aggression, they cause more chaos, death and destruction,” he said. said recently in a speech in the Oval Office.
His plans will require difficult negotiations in Congress. Some Republicans oppose more aid to Ukraine after Congress already approved $113 billion for security, economic and humanitarian relief.
Both conflicts will likely require years of U.S. involvement. For example, Biden is seeking a new opportunity to promote a two-state solution in the Middle East, creating an independent Palestinian country alongside Israel.
The fight against global warming is one of the areas in which Biden has had the most successful. The Inflation Reduction Act provides nearly $375 billion for climate change, much of which will go toward financial incentives for electric cars, clean energy and other initiatives. Biden is also pushing stricter regulations on Vehicles And power stations.
But the United States is not yet on track to meet Biden’s ambitious goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, according to independent analysts. And there is much work to be done to ensure that new programs reach their potential.
An obstacle is bureaucracy for energy projects. The White House says it’s too difficult to build infrastructure such as transmission lines, but legislation to address that problem would likely require compromise with Republicans, who see it as an opportunity to grease the wheels of a further development of fossil fuels.