ICYMI: Axios: Biden’s BFD: “Joe Biden Has Defied Expectations”

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Axios: Biden’s BFD

Margaret Talev, Alayna Treene
August 8, 2022

Key Excerpts:

Joe Biden has defied expectations, earning a legacy as a president who got big things done with a deeply divided Congress.


Driving the news: The Inflation Reduction Act is expected to clear the House later this week on a glide path to President Biden’s signature.

  • “I ran for president promising to make government work for working families again, and that is what this bill does — period,” President Biden said after Sunday’s Senate passage.

Why it matters: It will join a list of hard-fought legislation shaping the U.S. economy, society and foreign policy for decades to come:

  • The American Rescue Plan (COVID stimulus)
  • The Infrastructure and Jobs Act
  • Confirmation of the first Black female Supreme Court justice
  • Gun safety legislation
  • CHIPS (semiconductor manufacturing and U.S. competitiveness with China)
  • NATO expansion to include Finland and Sweden
  • Veterans’ health care expansion

Between the lines: While some of that was accomplished with bipartisan support, some has relied on close party-line votes and testing the limits of the budget reconciliation process.
The big picture: The Senate’s passage Sunday of the $740 billion bill — with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote — also follows a string of non-legislative successes for Biden.

  • The CIA’s killing of Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, a huge jobs numbers boost and a resounding victory in Kansas for abortion-rights supporters that offers new signs that the issue could help Democrats in the fall.

Zoom in: The legislation opens the door to Medicare negotiating lower prescription drug prices and is expected to push the nation toward clean energy by making it cheaper.

  • It’s the largest investment in clean energy and emissions cuts the Senate has ever passed, Axios’ Andrew Freedman notes, with incentives for electric vehicles, wind and solar electricity and direct air capture and hydrogen production.

What’s next: The political challenge for Biden and his party now turns in large part to messaging — from the bully pulpit and in a campaign advertising blitz between now and November.

  • The abortion vote in Kansas underscores the impacts targeting messaging and advertising can have ahead of an election.
  • Republicans are vowing counter Democrats’ victory lap by raising concerns about higher spending, taxes, inflation and one-party legislation.

Read more: Biden’s BFD