United States. The question of the social plan divides the democrats


Joe who laughs, Joe who cries. A week ago, the President of the United States faced the defeat of his candidate for governor in the state of Virginia, so far vested in the Democrats. One of the reasons for this defeat: the demobilization of the electorate who voted Biden in 2020 and which is still waiting for tangible results in the economic and social fields. On Saturday, Joe Biden was able – at last – to celebrate his first major legislative success, which will now have to be concretized in the daily life of Americans. A vast infrastructure investment plan was adopted the day before. A law that provides for 1,200 billion dollars in investments to modernize the dilapidated roads and bridges of the world’s largest economy, and to catch up with delays in high-speed Internet. The only thing missing is the president’s signature and… the effective start-up of these projects. “To all those back home who feel abandoned and left behind in an economy that is changing so rapidly: this law is for you,” said Joe Biden, touting a “blue collar plan” carrying “thousands of dollars. ‘jobs’ that ‘will not require a university degree’. According to him, the concrete effects will begin to be felt on the ground “within two or three months”. To get this congressional approval, the US president put his weight in the balance. First to win Republican votes and thus take advantage of approval beyond its own ranks, but also to win the votes of the “progressives”, the left wing of the Democratic Party. The question was not just arithmetic. Because, in the end, the approval is not only due to the contribution of the Republican votes. Joe Biden has not yet convinced a handful of so-called “moderate” elected officials from his camp to also vote for the $ 1,750 billion of the major social and ecological component, which notably provides for kindergarten for all, a profound improvement in health coverage and significant investments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

A battle that risks being tight

This plan, called “Build Back Better” (BBB), or “Reconstruire en Better”, is much less consensual than investments in infrastructure, considered by all sides as a priority. For the progressives, on the other hand, there was no question of voting investments without approval of the bill on social protection! Eventually, Progressive Democrats agreed to endorse Part 1 in exchange for a pledge from five of their colleagues to support the measures included in the BBB, which will ultimately be presented the week of November 15. The battle is still likely to be close in a week’s time, even if Biden presents an optimistic face, as does Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives. Both know that this type of confrontation will leave its mark on the Democratic congressmen. Especially since those on the right wing have already indicated that they will vote the BBB only after obtaining an estimate from the Congressional Budget Office in line with White House figures showing that the measure is fully paid. An astonishing delaying maneuver carrying future dangers. Especially since in ambush, the American Chamber of Commerce welcomed the adoption of the text voted on Friday, but also “the good sense” of the elected officials who blocked the background. The leader of the Republican deputies, Kevin McCarthy, has accused the BBB of a “socialist spending scam”.

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