Biden heads to Europe with his economic agenda – and his presidency – at stake at home

The flight has become a powerful cross between Biden’s domestic and foreign agenda as he calls on Democrats to agree a full spending package before Air Force One takes off at the G20 summit in Rome on Thursday.

In White House remarks before leaving for Rome in the afternoon, Biden described negotiations of the deal as a well-meaning attempt to find common ground between liberal and moderate Democrats.

Biden said in a letter to the East Room.

He appeared to be acknowledging the dismay among members of his party when he promoted popular elements, such as paid family leave and tuition-free community college, being taken out of the final deal.

“I know it is difficult. I know how people feel about the things they are fighting for,” he said.

As he prepared to represent the United States at two major international conferences, Biden said the new investments were a matter of national need.

“It’s about running the world or letting the world overtake us,” he said.

Earlier, the president traveled to Capitol Hill to unveil the $1.75 trillion framework agreement, though progressives in particular are scrambling for more details before signing. This trip delayed his departure for Rome, where he served a major task: either he would meet with other world leaders after a major legislative victory, or he would leave with nothing across the Atlantic.

“When the president gets off that plane, we want him to get a vote of confidence from this Congress,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told fellow Democrats at the meeting. Day. – and called on its members to “not be ashamed” by voting on the show while traveling abroad.

Thursday morning’s visit was a sign of the importance of the president’s vision of his success at home to his goals abroad. In private meetings, the president acknowledged that his credibility was at stake on the trip, drawing the attention of lawmakers and warning that America’s position was at stake as he sought to attack a deal on most of its national programs, including climate control measures. had struggled. . they change.

He tried to show confidence by entering the House Democratic Caucus meeting on Capitol Hill.

“It’s a good day,” Biden said, “everyone is on board.”

During the meeting, Biden told lawmakers, “I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say what the majority in the House and Senate and my presidency will determine next week.” He also highlighted a key theme of his presidency – that Americans should show the world that democracies can outperform authoritarian regimes and meet modern challenges.

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“The rest of the world is wondering if we can act,” Biden said.

However, it was not clear till morning if all the people were still on the plane. Moderate members of Congress said they would like to see more details once key items like paid family leave are removed. They stuck to their demands that the Social Expenditure Bill be passed along with the infrastructure deal.

The framework covers a wide range of democratic priorities, including the expansion of public care and childcare. It also includes $555 billion in measures to fight climate change.

Climate is a topic that is expected to be discussed Friday morning during a meeting with Pope Francis, a historic meeting between the country’s second Catholic president, and a pontiff whose views on immigration, income inequality and the environment from Biden. closely match the ideas of He later plans to deliver an important climate speech during his visit to the COP26 summit in Glasgow.

Biden is widely regarded abroad as a bum even four years after former President Donald Trump, whose hostile presence at international summits has often broken alliances. However, during the G20 and subsequent climate talks in Scotland, Biden will find himself under further scrutiny.

back to Earth

This is a notable difference from Biden’s three-stop tour of Europe in June, which was an “America is Back” assurance parade. Summit visits in Italy and the UK this week will reflect a smart effort to unite US partners to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges.

The initial glow of Biden’s victory has somewhat faded overseas, as some leaders began to question the new president’s commitment to bolstering traditional alliances.

The chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan has angered foreign allies and cast doubt on Biden’s willingness to work collaboratively on global issues. A deal to supply Australia with nuclear-powered submarines angered France so much that the country’s foreign secretary suggested it was something Trump could do – a comparison that, according to someone familiar with his response, deeply impressed Biden.

“It’s been four and a half months for our European partners,” Heather said. And I think he realizes now, he has recognized that there is more continuity in American politics than he thought. Conley is director of the Europe and Russia program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“It will be a completely different trip,” Conley said, calling Biden’s second foreign trip the first. “Our European partners strongly believe that the Biden administration will be a stable presence after the turbulent years of the Trump administration, and they need America for stability as Europe itself is more unstable and fragile. it’s different.”

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Speaking before Biden’s departure, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said the United States and Europe were “united” ahead of this week’s summit, despite the events of recent months. He noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping had decided to skip the rallies, leaving Biden and European leaders to set the criteria for the talks.

“I want to emphasize that neither China nor Russia will personally attend the summit at the leadership level, and this appears to be largely due to Covid-19. The United States and Europe will be there, and there will be activism and integration in both the G20 and COP26, both leading the agenda, shaping the agenda when it comes to these important international issues.

Biden’s political fortunes have suffered since the last time he went abroad as Americans grow tired of the coronavirus pandemic and economic side-effects – such as inflation and labor shortages. Work – begins to affect everyday life. According to White House officials, Biden plans to work with Group of Twenty leaders to focus intensely on supply chain and energy pricing issues.

For the first time ever, the president’s approval rating fell below 50% amid a chaotic pullout from Afghanistan, although the issue is unlikely to play a central role at this weekend’s summit. Instead, officials said, the main goal of the G20 is to strengthen support for global minimum taxes, another important part of Biden’s national economic agenda.

important work at home

The president and his team are hoping that the successful passage of his spending program along with a bipartisan infrastructure bill will help revive Biden’s position among Americans.

It includes key emissions-cutting provisions, although it has faced opposition from moderate Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, who represents coal-rich West Virginia. Biden has pledged to halve US greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and hopes to use that pledge at the Glasgow climate summit to persuade other countries to take action as well.

Biden added billions in clean energy tax credits to the framework announced Thursday, which covers consumption, transportation and storage, and electric vehicle credits for clean energy manufacturing. It also includes investments in climate and resilience, including the first ever civil climate body.

The White House said before Biden went to Europe that his foreign counterpart was smart enough to realize he was trying to take new climate action, even though he had not done so when he arrived in Scotland.

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“I think you have a sophisticated group of world leaders who understand their country’s politics and who understand American democracy and who understand how complex and complex the United States has been on some of the most important investments in recent memory. Working largely through negotiations. America takes time and so, I don’t think world leaders will consider this a binary question – was it done, was it not done, Sullivan said.

But Biden’s desire to arrive in Europe with a deal goes beyond simple climate. The guiding slogan of all its foreign policy proves what democracy can offer its people in combating the spread of tyranny. The impasse in Congress and the dysfunctional American political system could undermine this message as it seeks to garner support overseas.

“I have to go to represent the United States abroad,” he told a group of progressive lawmakers at a meeting last week. “I need people to see that the Democratic Party works, that the country works and that we can govern.” to one of the participants.

some key players missing

Biden’s first appearance at a G-20 summit – where the world’s largest industrialized economies meet every year – will be somewhat weakened by the ongoing global pandemic.

The president’s aides had once hoped to schedule a personal meeting with Xi on the sidelines of the G-20, as Trump did in Argentina in 2018. Despite escalating tensions between Washington and Beijing, the two have yet to face off. But Xi has not left China since the outbreak began.

Instead, he and Biden plan to host a virtual summit in the coming months. No date has been set, Sullivan said Tuesday.

Biden’s most-watched bilateral meeting at the G20 will be with French President Emmanuel Macron, who last month reacted angrily to Biden’s announcement to help Australia develop nuclear-powered submarines. The deal, which took place without Macron’s knowledge, deprived France of a multi-billion dollar contract to supply Australia with conventional submarines.

The anger in Paris over the deal has sparked some concern in Washington, where officials quickly pointed out that Macron was in danger of being re-elected early next year. However, Biden did hold a reconciliation call with Macron in which he acknowledged that communication around the deal could have been better. He agreed to have a one-on-one meeting in the G20.

The two will sit on Friday after Biden’s meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican.

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