Budowsky: Pass the bills, and Biden can address Glasgow next week

President Biden speaks with House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) before a House Democratic Caucus meeting to discuss the Build Back Better agenda and the bipartisan infrastructure deal on Oct. 28, 2021.
Julia Nikhinson

If  Congress can pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the reconciliation Build Back Better bill by next Wednesday, President Biden could give a dramatic second address to the Glasgow summit on climate change, either flying to Glasgow personally or giving a prescheduled address to the summit, the nation and the world from the Oval Office.

As the Earth continues to be endangered and crucial midterm elections are coming, Biden, Democrats and friends of the Earth everywhere should take the initiative morally, economically and politically on the environment and the major achievements Biden and Democrats can claim from the first economic recovery bill, the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the Build Back Better reconciliation bill.

The problem with the Glasgow summit is that while the United States and a number of other leading nations have taken bold and forceful positions, other nations — including China, Russia and India — have failed to join the fight in a meaningful way at a time when the earth is dangerously threatened unless far more dramatic action is taken than has been taken in the last two decades.

There is absolutely no reason that the reconciliation bill cannot be fully negotiated, presented to the Congressional Budget Office for budget scoring, and enacted within a week of today. It may require limited interruption of the Veterans Day recess but given the enormity of the stakes for the Earth, for the American people, and for Democrats, it is well worth the effort.

Obviously, for President Biden and Democrats in the House and Senate, these are challenging days. But let’s remember, early in the 2020 primary season Biden as a Democratic candidate was largely written off until lightening struck in the South Carolina primary, which led him to the ultimate victory over President Trump in the 2020 elections, and Democrats regaining control of the Senate.

For Democrats, the words of Ben Franklin ring truer than ever today: We will either hang together now, or hang separately in the midterm elections in 2022 and the presidential campaign in 2024.

Biden and Democrats have a powerful and effective record to run on, which will become crystal clear when the pending two bills are enacted, which they will be.

First, the American recovery bill early this year lifted the economy profoundly, and actions such as the child tax credit helped moms, dads and kids in all 50 states and dramatically reduced child poverty in America.

Second, the bipartisan infrastructure bill will promote major progress creating jobs rebuilding America, and provide a booster shot to protecting the Earth from climate change.

Third, the Build Back Better reconciliation bill takes the battle to save Earth to new heights, and the assistance to poor and middle-class Americans is dramatic and powerful.

Under Biden, Democrats are defeating COVID-19, improving the economy above what was inherited, taking historic initiatives against climate change, supporting women and children and are poised to fight for popular programs that were not included in pending legislation.

Imagine the lift a second Biden speech to the Glasgow summit, following passage of the pending legislation, would give to the Earth and the Earth’s supporters everywhere at a time when many complain, correctly, that there is too much talk and not enough action to support the crusade to save the Earth.

Biden and Democrats should do a much better job of informing voters of everything they are doing to help them. Biden could take a page from Ronald Reagan’s playbook and sometimes address the nation in prime time to urge Americans to contact Congress, which alerts, inspires and motivates Americans who love these programs.

With hugely important midterm elections approaching, these initiatives will lift Biden and Democrats, because voters will know they lift their families and our nation. They will be motivated and inspired to contact their representatives in Washington to support these measures, and to vote in the midterm elections for those who support them, and against those who do not. 

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the House of Representatives.

Tags Build Back Better Act congress pass spending bills package Donald Trump glasgow climate change address Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Joe Biden

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