US President Joe Biden is under pressure to deliver on a key campaign pledge after the Democrats struggled to agree on the terms of a trillion-dollar spending package. Biden hopes a deal on his “Build Back Better” legislation can be reached before the US leader travels for the COP26 Summit on Thursday. The Australian’s Washington Correspondent Adam Creighton has dubbed the legislation the “incredible shrinking bill” amid reports the amount spent will need to be slashed by roughly $1.5-2 trillion to get key Democrats on side.
Mr Creighton told Sky News Australia: “Well, this is the incredible shrinking bill, if you like, I mean, in the space of two weeks, it’s gone from three and a half trillion mooted to now somewhere between 1.5 trillion and 2 trillion.
“The bill is dubbed the ‘Build Back Better’ bill but really it’s turning out to be more of just a renovation.
“I think at this stage there are those two senators, the votes of whom the Democratic Party needs because as you know, they barely have any majority in the Congress.
“It’s 50/50 in the Senate, and even in the [House of Congress], the 435 seat House, and they only have a three-seat majority.
“So the original ambitions of the bill which relate to paternity leave to climate change, tax increases, free university, the ambitions were really so out of proportion to the majority in the Congress that I think this is why it’s unravelling.”
Plans for the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives to vote on President’s major infrastructure bill this week have stalled disagreement over Biden’s larger spending plans.
“We want to have an agreement so that we can go forward,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters.
Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are so far holding out on passing the President’s programme despite high-level talks with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Mr Bolt said: “Declining polls of Joe Biden, they really are quite extraordinary.
“Terrible disapproval ratings, a part of that seems to me because of a lack of confidence in whether he is mentally all there.
“We have discussed this before but Joe Biden’s body language in the CNN Townhall the other day, I think, raises even more questions about his mental health.
“For a while, he stood there staring at his shoes.”
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