Wednesday, August 17

Joe Biden will be at a CNN forum this Thursday where he will promote his ambitious national agenda


(CNN) — US President Joe Biden hopes to use a CNN Forum on Thursday to help push his ambitious national agenda toward the finish line, as weeks of mostly private negotiations between Democrats appear to be drawing to a close. .

The 8 p.m. Miami time event, to be held in Baltimore, comes amid an increasingly intense public push for a reworked vision to expand the social safety net, combat climate change, and increase taxes on the rich. Biden’s art of public selling off his schedule Build Back Better, Comprised of a $ 1.5 trillion public works bill and the largest spending plan, still under negotiation, it has intensified in recent days as talks near their conclusion.

Uncertain about what will be included in the final package, Biden has been talking about the broad lines of his vision and the values ​​behind it. The final plan will be cut from the $ 3.5 trillion package that Biden initially delayed this summer, but still contains significant investments in education, healthcare and the environment.

He said a day earlier, at an event in Scranton, Pennsylvania, that the prospects for a deal were looking up.

“I think we’re going to surprise them,” he said during a long, nostalgic speech about his upbringing. “Because I think people are starting to realize what is at stake.”

Biden is expected to answer questions from an invitation-only audience during Thursday’s event, which is moderated by CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

“We have come a long way, but we still have work to do,” President Cedric Richmond’s senior adviser said Wednesday. “We have a good framework, but we are still in the process of finalizing and trying to reach a compromise. So, you see that the president does it in the best way. That is what happened yesterday doing. And now it is coming out, showing his case to the American people. “

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More than sit-down interviews or formal press conferences, Biden’s advisers believe the forum format plays into his signature political style, with an ability to connect with Americans on a personal level. In previous events, she brought up her son’s battle with addiction and comforted a second-grader who feared contracting the coronavirus at school.

Past appearances have also come with some off-key moments, like when he told an Ohio restaurant owner in July that he would be “in trouble for a while” amid a nationwide labor shortage. . And he appeared to contradict his own staff when he set different goals for the schools to reopen at a forum in February.

However, the forum is an opportunity to realign the public’s attention to its broad national agenda, the elements of which are very popular with the American people. Biden and his allies believe that passing the bills could help boost Democrats in next year’s midterm elections.

Biden has expressed frustration that most of his time was spent earlier this year promoting the agenda, while opinions were still forming on the broad proposals that include most of his national promises. A chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan and a series of natural disasters prevented Biden from focusing all his attention on explaining to Americans what was included in the plans.

Now Democrats are rushing to complete negotiations on the president’s ambitious agenda and he is pushing to have something concrete to promote when he leaves for Europe next week for a G20 summit and climate talks in Scotland.

The final stage of the negotiations has come with tough decisions on what to cut from the original $ 3.5 trillion package and what to attack entirely. While the broad lines of those decisions have started to emerge this week, the talks continue at a frantic pace.

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“The President knows that he will not get everything he wants in this package, nor does the Speaker of the House [de Representantes], Pelosi, nor the leader [del Senado] Schumer, nor probably any member of Congress. And that’s what compromise and negotiation are all about, “Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Air Force One on Wednesday.

Biden’s agenda this week has been devoted almost entirely to meetings with lawmakers, who have traveled to the White House in groups and individually to meet with the president in the Oval Office.

The flurry of meetings has signaled that arduous negotiations over Biden’s domestic agenda were coming to an end, and on Tuesday the president began to introduce elements that had been removed from the grand budget package to appease moderates.

That included its long-promised plan to offer free community college, which is not expected to make the final cut. A child tax credit is also expected to be reduced. And now an increase in the corporate tax rate is in question.

Other elements such as paid family leave, universal kindergarten, and expanded health care benefits were expected to remain in the final project. And the debate continues on what provisions to combat climate change to keep in the package.


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