COMPASS: Biden’s approval plummets as congressional Democrats scramble

November 1st, 2021

Good afternoon from Capitol Hill.

Pelosi blinks again. Democrats are still trying to drag their $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and now roughly $1.75 trillion reconciliation bill across the finish line after facing discord between moderates and progressives. Negotiations continue over the fate of Medicare prescription drug pricing, paid leave, extension of benefits to illegal immigrants, and how the bill is supposedly paid for. Here’s a look at what’s in and what’s out. Interestingly, the two bills aren’t even that popular among their own voters.

Regardless of whether or not Democrats can salvage their massive, cradle-to-grave government expansion with their tiny majorities, Congress is facing down a monster collision in December when a government funding deadline comes up against a debt ceiling crisis and a handful of other deadlines, including a surface transportation extension.

When it comes to government funding, the House has passed 10 of the 12 fiscal year 2022 spending bills, while the Senate has passed none — and only three have been taken up in the Appropriations Committee.

This gives Congress two options in December: a straight extension of funding known as a Continuing Resolution, or a massive 12-bill omnibus. Congress loves the latter. As I’ve said in this email before, this December pileup is an intentional strategy designed to leverage the holiday calendar to justify passage of a giant bill, crammed full of special interest provisions no one has read, jammed through Congress just before Christmas.

That bill is probably already written, just waiting for the moment when a fake, congressionally-created crisis can compel it to the floor and onto the president’s desk, without question, amendment, or scrutiny.

Meanwhile, while President Biden is heading from the G-20 summit in Rome to a climate conference in Glasgow (no word on why the summit couldn’t be held over zoom to save on carbon emissions from all those private jets), his poll numbers are tanking. From NBC News:

What is clearer this morning is the extent to which Biden’s national job approval has plummeted one year after he defeated Trump. A majority of Americans disapprove of his performance as president and give him low marks for competence and on uniting the country, and Democrats now trail Republicans on which party better handles the economy, inflation and immigration, while the majority party has lost ground on issues such as education and response to the coronavirus.

Tomorrow’s election for Virginia governor has become something of a bellwether for Democratic party approval, with Republican challenger Glenn Youngkin coming in reach of Democrat Terry McAuliffe in a state which Biden won by 10 points. The center of the storm has been Loudoun County, where issues surrounding gender identity and critical race theory are taking up a lot of oxygen. Incredibly, McAuliffe is still claiming critical race theory isn’t taught in schools.

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