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Biden faltering after significant losses on systematic obstruction, vaccines and more to start 2022

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Biden faltering after significant losses on systematic obstruction, vaccines and more to start 2022

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President Biden has suffered several significant losses in the first two weeks of the new year, including on his major initiatives on immunization mandates and election laws, as the administration prepares for a midterm election year struggling to unite his party and achieve his goals.

Two of the biggest hits to the White House this year came on Thursday – one at the hands of two Democratic senators and the other by the Supreme Court.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona, visited the Senate Thursday afternoon to detail his opposition to the Senate filibuster partisan changes, essentially killing the Democrats’ plan to pass two major government bills. elections.

“Today marks the longest period in history when the Senate has been evenly divided,” Sinema said Thursday. “The House of Representatives is also divided roughly evenly. Our mandate, it seems obvious to me, [is] work together and get things done for America. “

President Biden speaks after leaving a meeting with the Senate Democratic Caucus in Washington, Thursday, January 13, 2022.
(Eric Lee / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

DOUBLE SINEMA ON FILIBUSTER SUPPORT, LIKELY DEATHING DEMS ELECTORAL BILLS

Senator Joe Manchin, DW.Va., released a statement saying essentially the same thing later on Thursday.

This story could have dominated the news cycle for several days. It only lasted a few hours before the next batch of bad news for the Biden administration: The Supreme Court blocked the president’s vaccine mandate for large private employers.

the the court ruled that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) probably did not have the power to impose such a mandate because the law that created OSHA “authorizes the secretary to establish standards for occupational safety, not general public health measures ”.

The Supreme Court allowed the administration’s immunization mandate for health workers to continue. But OSHA’s big business mandate has reached many more Americans. The ruling means the administration will not be able to enforce that mandate while legal challenges continue, perhaps for months, in lower courts.

The twin losses on two major issues within hours came as the White House was already reeling to start the new year.

Biden faltering after significant losses on systematic obstruction, vaccines and more to start 2022

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Senator Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona, delivers remarks in the Senate in support of legislative filibuster on Thursday, January 13, 2022.

SUPREME COURT BLOCKS MANDATE ON BIDEN OSHA VACCINE AND ALLOWS RULE FOR HEALTH WORKERS

The massive inflation figures announced on Wednesday made it even more unlikely that Democrats would be able to salvage their massive reconciliation spending bill, which Manchin announced last month he was opposing to “Fox News” Sunday “. It was the president’s top national legislative priority, and now it’s over.

Meanwhile, the White House is still struggling to make rapid COVID-19 tests available by mail to all Americans – an idea that White House press secretary Jen Psaki first scoffed at before. the holidays – after a shortage of testing during the holidays. Vice President Kamala Harris struggled to explain with details in an interview Tuesday with NBC News.

NBC’s Craig Melvin asked Harris when the 500 million White House tests would be available to Americans. Harris replied that they “will be out shortly.” Melvin asked if the White House should have ordered the tests sooner.

Biden faltering after significant losses on systematic obstruction, vaccines and more to start 2022

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Vice President Kamala Harris struggled to answer questions about COVID-19 testing and the White House’s coronavirus strategy in an interview with NBC News this week.
(LOGAN CYRUS / AFP via Getty Images)

JESSE WATTERS LIST THE THINGS MORE POPULAR THAN JOE BIDEN

“We are doing it,” Harris said.

“But should we have done it sooner?” Melvin asked again.

“We are doing it,” replied Harris.

Pushed further on whether it’s time for the White House to change its COVID-19 strategy, as a handful of former administration health officials said in a letter last week, Harris doubled down how the White House is handling the pandemic.

“It’s time for us to do what we’re doing, and that time is everyday. Every day it’s time for us to agree that there are things and tools at our disposal to slow this thing down,” he said. she declared.

It is time for us to do what we are doing and that time is everyday. Every day it’s time for us to agree that there are things and tools that are available to us to slow this thing down.

– Vice President Harris on NBC News

WHY THE SENATE DEMOCRATS WHO SIGNED SUSAN COLLINS ‘PRO-FILIBUSTER LETTER IN 2017 WANT TO GET GONE NOW

And polls show Biden is deeply underwater on his approval ratings, as Democrats risk losing their tenuous hold over the House and Senate. This would effectively block any agenda Biden might hope to implement for the remainder of his first term.

The Democratic candidates may already be trying to put some space between themselves and the president. Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams did not appear with Biden when he traveled to Georgia to approve election bills this week – even though it is his signature issue.

The White House seems to know things are not going well. Following Sinema’s remarks on Thursday, Biden himself expressed serious doubts about the Democrats’ ability to pass their election bills.

“I hope we can do this. The honest answer to God is, I don’t know.… I hope we can do this, but I’m not sure. One thing is certain, like all other civil rights. major bill that happened. We miss the first time, we can come back and try a second time, “he said.

Even the official White House reading of the Manchin-Sinema meeting on Thursday evening hinted at no progress.

Biden faltering after significant losses on systematic obstruction, vaccines and more to start 2022

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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during the daily White House press briefing on December 14, 2021 in Washington. Psaki said on Thursday that the White House does not regret taking on difficult assignments.
(Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

“The President welcomed Senator Manchin and Senator Sinema to the White House this evening for a frank and respectful exchange of views on voting rights,” said a White House official.

A reporter asked Psaki on Thursday about the cascading losses of the White House so far this year, saying things “seemed to be going pretty badly” and the president was “stuck on an incredible number of fronts”.

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Psaki responded by pointing to job increases as the United States recovers from its 2020 pandemic slump and the fact that most Americans are now vaccinated. And she said the White House has no regrets for taking on the tasks it is tasked with, even though many of them don’t go well.

“Our effort is to do hard things, to try hard things and to persevere,” she said. “I think after working in a White House before, you do tough things in White Houses. You have all challenges at your feet – at your feet, whether global or national. And we certainly could. come up with legislation to see if people support bunnies and ice cream, but that wouldn’t be very rewarding for the American people. “

Sarah Tobianski, Brandon Gillespie, Ronn Blitzer, Caroline McKee and Bill Mears of Fox News contributed to this report.

Biden faltering after significant losses on systematic obstruction, vaccines and more to start 2022

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