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Biden's economic approval ratings and spending agenda stalled

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President Joe Biden's already-weak economic job approval numbers are at risk of eroding even more if he does not lead the White House and congressional Democrats through the crush of coming challenges.

But as Biden and his advisers try to drag the economy out of its pandemic-induced slump, the president's counterparts on Capitol Hill made the task more difficult this week by linking efforts to fund the federal government beyond Sept. 30 with suspending the debt ceiling.

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Biden's economic philosophy is ill-suited to the problems the president faces, according to Alfredo Ortiz, president and CEO of conservative advocacy group Job Creators Network.

Democrats' answer "to everything is to spend more money," Ortiz told the Washington Examiner, citing the $3.5 trillion partisan social welfare and climate package. The sprawling proposal, on which liberal and centrist Democrats struggle to agree, will contribute to inflation, similar to the 1970s energy crisis under former President Jimmy Carter, Ortiz said. That could create a "Biden pay cut" if wages are not adjusted fast enough, he added.

"The Democrats' economic agenda reduces the value of ordinary Americans' paychecks while waging war on small businesses, reducing job opportunities and economic prosperity," Ortiz said.

But Biden has two issues. First, the catastrophic economic consequences if the government shuts down or the Treasury Department runs out of credit. The second is cementing the poor public perception of his economic management before next year's midterm elections, given his soft polling on the topic since the 2020 campaign.

Biden's job approval is net negative, with an average of 46% of respondents approving and 50% disapproving, according to RealClearPolitics. That trend continues with the president's economic job approval: an average of 46% approve and 49% disapprove.

A Quinnipiac University Poll published last week captured how quickly Biden's economic job approval cratered. This month, 42% approved the president's economic management and 52% disapproved, including 55% of self-identified independents. Four weeks earlier in August, 43% approved and 48% disapproved.

Those disapproval numbers could spike even further with a shutdown and debt ceiling crisis as Biden attempts to unite a broad spectrum of Democrats behind his $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal and $3.5 trillion sweeping reconciliation bill, which only requires Democratic support to pass the Senate.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer this week issued a joint statement announcing a stopgap measure to fund the government and lift the debt ceiling until December. This would also provide emergency disaster relief and Afghan refugee resettlement assistance in the meantime.

“The American people expect our Republican colleagues to live up to their responsibilities and make good on the debts they proudly helped incur," the pair wrote.

But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was quick to dash their hopes of debt ceiling bipartisanship. While Senate Republicans would back "a clean continuing resolution" with disaster aid and refugee resettlement provisions, he said they would not endorse legislation that extends the debt limit.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki has long downplayed the possibility Republicans would allow the country's credit rating to downgrade after both parties permitted the Treasury to borrow more money "80 times" in the past. This week, she dismissed speculation that this, along with Biden's lack of progress on policies like immigration, would have repercussions for the 2022 midterm cycle.

"It's a long time before the midterms," Psaki said.

For Shelia Huggins, a Democratic National Committee member in the battleground of North Carolina, Republicans were playing a losing hand by appearing to have "very little interest" in middle-class voters.

"They supported over a trillion dollars in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and shareholders during the Trump administration and had no qualms with raising the debt ceiling at that time," she said. "But now, when Americans are most in need, they turn their backs. They are willing to shut down our federal government instead of focusing on the needs of the people."

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"The Republicans need a wake-up call, and the Democrats are ringing the alarm," she added.

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Tags: News, Biden, Biden Administration, Joe Biden, White House, Infrastructure, Economy, Business

Original Author: Naomi Lim

Original Location: Biden's economic approval ratings and spending agenda stalled

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