Despite a week of missteps on issues such as climate change, drug costs, criminal justice reform, voting rights, and others, the White House attempted to defend President Biden’s account.
This time, they did it by pointing to the “reality” of enacting bills in a Senate that is evenly divided, leaving alliances and Democrat voters thwarted.
Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, also claimed the government was being pressured to prioritize the consequences of the coronavirus outbreak and polling data indicates people agree.
An Address to Democratic Voters
During a media briefing on Friday, Psaki was asked what she would say to Democrat voters who voted to safeguard voting rights, change course on climate change, lower prescription medication prices, restructure police departments, increase the minimum wage, and tackle student loan debt, but have received none of these things.
She answered by saying the response is they are still working for every single component of what the journalist mentioned as a goal of theirs.
Also, for the time being, the White House is grappling with the reality of having a very small majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. As a result, things are more difficult to deal with now than they have been in the past.
Why is every White House press briefing like
REPORTER: Has the President considered [good policy]?
JEN PSAKI: You’re stupid if you think it’s possible for us to do anything. If the American people think we’re going to help them with anything, they need to grow up.
— Kim McCauley (@lgbtqfc) January 14, 2022
Psaki went on to add that a large number of Americans who have shown their support for those topics also expressed a strong desire to see the epidemic brought under control as well.
Such folks are also very concerned about ensuring that classrooms are open across the nation, small companies are operating, and the economy is running at full capacity.
The press secretary said those have been the top problems the White House has seen in virtually every piece of data available.
Reporter: "So the sense is things are going well [at the White House], there's no need for change right now?"
Jen Psaki: "We could certainly propose legislation to see if people support bunny rabbits and ice cream, but that wouldn't be very rewarding for the American people." pic.twitter.com/LXO5s2duPM
— The Hill (@thehill) January 14, 2022
In an expressive address on Tuesday, President Biden voiced his support for reforms to the Senate filibuster that’d allow voting rights laws to succeed without the backing of Republicans in the chamber.
Voting rights campaigners, however, were dissatisfied with the lack of action and boycotted the address, claiming the president should remain in Washington until he could demonstrate tangible progress to voters.
If there are enough Democrats on board, altering the filibuster rule to allow voting legislation to move forward with a 51-vote majority would be a solution to this problem.
Two important Democrat senators declared their opposition against crucial changes to the rules on Thursday.
This happened just hours before President Biden was scheduled to arrive on Capitol Hill to press Democrats to complete their work; therefore, the president was struck with a major setback.
Biden’s massive social spending program has also come to a halt because of intraparty differences over key elements of the legislation.
The “Build Back Better” proposal, which is being promoted by Democrats, contains provisions for childcare and climate-related expenditures, among other provisions.
Discussions on bipartisan police reform legislation came to a grinding halt last year, due to disputes on liability protections for police officers.