If Joe Biden Becomes President, This Will Be His Biggest Political Challenge
Author: Greg Valliere
October 9, 2020
EVERY FACTION OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY will claim credit if Joe Biden wins on Nov. 3, but there’s one group that will relentlessly challenge him: progressives, who already are expressing reservations about his policies.
IF BIDEN BECOMES PRESIDENT, he will face an increasingly leftist House, where Nancy Pelosi, 80, is unlikely to serve much longer. Progressive insurgents, led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, will push their agenda, although AOC is eyeing a big prize — taking down Chuck Schumer, who could be vulnerable to her 2022 challenge for his New York Senate seat.
AOC WAS IN THE NEWS this week, objecting to Kamala Harris’ assertion that there would be no banning of fracking in a Biden Administration. Ocasio Cortez said that’s a bad idea, the first of many criticisms she will lob at the Biden camp.
THE FRICTION between traditional center-left Democrats and the Progressives will be the greatest political challenge Biden will face if he becomes president. There are disagreements on police funding, tax policy, the extent of a Green New Deal, student loan forgiveness, Obamacare expansion and antitrust policies.
INSTITUTIONAL CHANGES WILL BE A MAJOR FOCUS: Progressives want to expand the Supreme Court, but Biden reportedly is lukewarm. They want statehood for Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, but Biden is reluctant. And they want to kill Senate filibuster rules, which Biden has always opposed, although he recently has indicated a willingness to consider the idea.
CAVING IN TO THE LEFT could expose Biden to House and Senate losses in the 2022 midterm elections, his supporters believe. Republicans were pleased by Mike Pence’s assertions in this week’s debate that the Democrats have lurched leftward, and that undoubtedly will be a big theme for the GOP in the 2022 elections.
BIDEN HAS MADE A POINT of saying that “this is my party,” and he has a reputation as a skilled negotiator. But progressive activists will be in no mood to compromise if Biden goes soft on tax hikes for the wealthy and corporations; he told them all summer that he would embrace an activist agenda, and they will hold Biden to that promise.
REPUBLICANS CLAIM BIDEN IS CONTROLLED by the left, but that isn’t exactly true. He’s threatened by the left, which will generate numerous progressive bills in the House that could move quickly if there’s a Blue Wave. If Biden seeks to water down these bills, the fissures within the party will deepen quickly.
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