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President Joe Biden may have had the best week of his presidency yet, with three months left until crucial midterm elections.

The Biden administration won a major victory over the terrorist group Al-Qaeda with the assassination of leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a drone strike on July 31, while also recording victories at home.

It now seems very likely that the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 will be passed by the Senate and House of Representatives next week, while the popularity of the president himself appears to be on the rise.

Here’s a look at Biden’s successful week.

Defense Policy Victories

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed this week in a drone strike ordered by President Biden on a milestone in the fight against the group responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Al-Zawahiri was one of the masterminds behind the 2001 attacks and was the deputy to Osama bin Laden, who succeeded him as leader of the organization. The drone strike in Kabul also bolstered the government’s argument that withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan has not hampered the country’s ability to fight terrorism.

There were also multiple reports this week of Ukraine’s successful use of US-supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) against Russian forces.

President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked the US for its military support and said a new defense aid package “brings us closer to victory”.

In a related development, the US Senate overwhelmingly approved Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership after both countries were asked to join the military alliance after Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

Breakthroughs in Biden Agenda

After a few tense days of speculation, it now looks like Democrats will be able to pass the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act after Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) agreed to back this Thursday with minimal changes.

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) surprised many when he came forward in support of the bill, which is a repackaged version of Biden’s Build Back Better agenda and also aims to cut the national deficit by $300 billion in a bid curb inflation.

Sinema’s vote is essential to get the bill passed using the budget-alignment process in the evenly divided Senate, and she has agreed to support the legislation after a provision on the interest rate loop has been removed, along with some other tax-related changes. .

The Senate begins voting on the bill on Saturday in the so-called vote-a-rama and could pass the legislation Monday, with the Democrat-controlled House likely to pass it next week.

The bill provides for $369 billion in energy and climate change spending.

The Senate also passed a $280 billion bill to meet the health needs of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan exposed to fire pits. Senators voted 86 to 11 in favor of the bill after Republicans ended their opposition to the legislation amid significant pressure from more than 60 veteran groups and public criticism from comedian Jon Stewart.

The Veterans Act, already passed by the House, is the last two-pronged victory for the government after the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act in June and the CHIPS Act in July.

In this combination image, US President Joe Biden salutes before giving a speech at the 153rd National Memorial Day Observance at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day in Arlington, Virginia on May 31, 2021, background image of the The Stars and Stripes, United States of American flag . Biden has had some successes in the past week
iStock/Getty Images

Opinion polls and prices

According to poll follower FiveThirtyEight, President Biden’s approval rating has been in negative territory since Aug. 31, and while it remained low this week, there are signs his popularity is improving.

FiveThirtyEight found that Biden’s approval was 39.3 percent on Friday and his disapproval was 55.6 percent. That’s an upward trend since July 25, when the president’s approval was just 37.7 percent and his disapproval was 57.1 percent. It remains to be seen whether his approval rating will continue to rise.

Other polls showed good news for Democrats as they face crucial midterm elections. A recent Monmouth University poll found that Biden’s party enjoyed 50 percent support when respondents were asked who they preferred to control Congress.

Republicans were favored by 43 percent of those polled, but it remains to be seen whether this is part of a broader trend. Democrats are expected to struggle to maintain control of the House and Senate in November.

One of the main issues in the midterm elections is expected to be the cost of living and inflation, but there was some good news for Democrats on that front too, as the cost of a gallon of gas has fallen after hitting record highs.

“More than half of all gas stations in the United States now offer gasoline for less than $4 a gallon,” Biden’s official Twitter account wrote on Wednesday.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) found that the national average price for a gallon of gasoline was just over $4.08 as of Saturday, down from the previous day.

July hiring figures were also released on Friday, as the country saw 528,000 job creations that month – another positive economic indicator that could suggest the US is not headed for a recession despite two quarters of negative GDP growth.

Abortion and the interim

Abortion could also emerge as a major issue in the midterm elections after the US Supreme Court overturned the historic precedent finding a constitutional right to abortion.

Kansas voters won a surprise victory for abortion rights activists Tuesday when they rejected a measure that would have removed abortion protection from the state’s constitution by a 59 percent to 41 percent vote.

President Biden appeared to recognize that abortion could become an electoral issue when he signed an executive order on Wednesday aimed at facilitating out-of-state travel for those seeking abortions.

“I don’t think the court has any idea about that or the Republican Party about that… how women will react. They have no idea of ​​the power of American women,” Biden said.

“Last night they found out in Kansas,” the president added.

Biden’s best week?

Political experts who spoke with News week said this was undoubtedly a good week for Biden, but also sounded cautious.

“There’s no doubt that this was the best week of Biden’s presidency,” said Robert Singh, a professor in the University of London’s Birkbeck Department of Politics. “But everything is relative.

“It stood out mainly because it had been so lousy a year and a half before. It also begs the question, especially on the legislative front: why did this take so long? If Biden’s many vaunted LBJ-esque skills had been true, he and Had had to achieve all this in his first six months. Instead, he leaned to the left of the Democratic Party and came up with measures that were impossible to gain widespread support,” Singh said.

Singh said people should “be careful of irrational exuberance.”

“Al-Zawahiri’s targeted assassination was a huge success – but the question arises as to why he thought he could move to downtown Kabul and venture onto his balcony with impunity? What does this say about the Taliban’s promise not to harbor terror groups? planning attacks on the West?” he said.

“Looks like we’re back to Sept. 10 — al-Qaeda and others are now in a safe haven, recompiling and re-scheduling. Likewise, whether and when the inflation-cutting bill will work is a moot point. Given the ongoing crisis over the energy prices, and commodities, before China takes action against Taiwan, it seems unlikely that Biden’s approval ratings will see a sustained rise,” Singh warned.

Inflation and approval

Thomas Gift, founder and director of the Center on US Politics at University College London, said: News week that the White House may be encouraged by this good week, but more needs to be done.

“For most voters, one word, inflation, is still paramount. Unless Americans see continued relief from sticker shock every time they drive into the gas station or run errands at the store, Biden is unlikely to see a big up in his approvals,” Gift said. .

“Even if the Inflation Reduction Act lives up to its name – and there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical – there are unlikely to be any benefits in the short term,” he added.

Running out of time

With the midterm elections approaching and the possibility of major Republican victories, Biden may not have much time left to reach his first-term goals.

Paul Quirk, a political scientist at the University of British Columbia in Canada, said: News week that “the events of the past week will represent much of his legacy and lead far in his becoming a successful, consistent president.”

“Whether Biden’s legislative successes will help him or the Democrats politically is less clear,” Quirk said. “If policy moves to the left, the public tends to move to the right, and vice versa, keeping policy direction fairly stable over time.”

Quirk said former President Barack Obama’s successes in his first two years, such as the Affordable Care Act, “contributed to devastating Democratic losses in the 2010 midterm elections.”

“What will help Democrats in the 2022 and possibly 2024 midterm elections is rather their extraordinary defeats by Republicans on abortion policy. In politics, nothing is as successful as failure, if done right,” he said. .

“For many, Biden is running out of time for the most important issues on the agenda for the first two years — ensuring those who tried to undo the 2020 presidential election are brought to justice and pass legislation to defend the defense. against similar efforts in 2024 and beyond,” added Quirk.

Joe Biden just had the best week of his presidency – The AU Times

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