President Biden has taken some devastating losses the first two weeks of 2022, as the administration limps into a midterm election year struggling to unite its party and accomplish its goals.
On Thursday, Sen. Krysten Sinema, D-Ariz., went to the Senate floor to detail her opposition to partisan changes to the Senate filibuster, essentially killing Democrats’ plan to pass two major election bills.
“Today marks the longest time in history that the Senate has been equally divided,” Sinema said Thursday. “The House of Representatives is nearly equally divided as well. Our mandate, it seems evident to me, [is] work together and get stuff done for America.”
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., released a statement saying essentially the same thing later Thursday.
The Supreme Court also blocked the president’s vaccine mandate for large private employers.
The massive inflation numbers announced Wednesday made it also unlikely for Democrats to salvage their reconciliation spending bill, which Manchin announced last month he opposed. That was the president’s biggest domestic legislative priority, and now it is dead.
The twin losses on two major issues came within a few hours as the White House was already reeling to start the new year.
The combination of massive inflation numbers decreasing the likelihood of the spending bill ever being reinstated only increases the ineffectiveness of the Biden administration.
Meanwhile, the White House is still struggling to make rapid COVID-19 tests available via mail to all Americans – an idea White House press secretary Jen Psaki initially mocked before the holidays – after a shortage of tests over the holidays.
Vice president Kamala Harris stumbled through the specifics in an interview Tuesday with NBC News. NBC’s Craig Melvin asked Harris when the White House’s 500 million tests would be available for Americans. Harris responded that they were “going to go out shortly.”
Thankfully Melvin did not bend, pressing on why the White House didn’t order the tests sooner.
The true nature of Harris came out when she responded twice, “We are doing it.” With nothing else to back her credibility.
When asked about changing the COVID-19 strategy, a handful of former administration health officials said in a letter last week.
In one of the worse responses to an interview question, Kamala stated, “It is time for us to do what we are doing, and that time is every day. Every day it is time for us to agree that there are things and tools that are available to us to slow this thing down.”
The White House appears to finally take stock and understand that things aren’t going well. Following Sinema’s remarks on Thursday, Biden himself expressed doubts that Democrats will pass their elections bills.
“I hope we can get this done. The honest-to-God answer is I don’t know. I hope we can get this done, but I’m not sure.”
Even the White House’s official readout of the Manchin-Sinema meeting Thursday night did not allude to any progress.
“The President hosted Senator Manchin and Senator Sinema at the White House tonight for a candid and respectful exchange of views about voting rights,” a White House official said.