Biden reeling after major losses on filibuster, vaccines and more to start 2022

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President Biden took a number of major losses in simply the primary two weeks of the brand new year, together with on his major initiatives on vaccine mandates and election legal guidelines, because the administration limps right into a midterm election year struggling to unite its occasion and accomplish its objectives. 

Two of the most important blows to the White House this year got here on Thursday – one by the hands of two Democratic senators and one other from the Supreme Court. 

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., went to the Senate ground Thursday afternoon to element her opposition to partisan adjustments to the Senate filibuster, basically killing Democrats’ plan to go two major elections payments. 

“Today marks the longest time in history that the Senate has been equally divided,” Sinema stated 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.”

President Biden speaks after exiting a meeting with the Senate Democratic Caucus in Washington, on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022. 
(Eric Lee/Bloomberg by way of Getty Images)


Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., launched an announcement saying basically the identical factor later Thursday. 

That story may have dominated the information cycle for a number of days. It solely lasted a few hours earlier than the following batch of dangerous information for the Biden administration: The Supreme Court blocked the president’s vaccine mandate for big non-public employers. 

The court ruled that Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) possible lacked the authority to impose such a mandate as a result of the regulation that created OSHA “empowers the Secretary to set workplace safety standards, not broad public health measures.”

The Supreme Court did enable the administration’s vaccine mandate for well being care employees to go ahead. But the OSHA mandate on giant companies reached many more Americans. The ruling means the administration will not have the ability to implement that mandate whereas authorized challenges proceed, maybe for months, in decrease courts. 

The twin losses on two major points inside a number of hours got here because the White House was already reeling to start the brand new year. 

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., delivers remarks on the Senate floor in support of the legislative filibuster, on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022. 

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., delivers remarks on the Senate ground in assist of the legislative filibuster, on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022. 


Massive inflation numbers introduced Wednesday made it even more unlikely that Democrats would have the ability to salvage their large reconciliation spending invoice, which Manchin introduced final month he opposes on “Fox News Sunday.” That was the president’s greatest home legislative precedence, and now it’s lifeless. 

Meanwhile, the White House continues to be struggling to make speedy COVID-19 exams accessible by way of mail to all Americans – an concept White House press secretary Jen Psaki initially mocked earlier than the vacations – after a scarcity of exams over the vacations. Vice President Kamala Harris struggled to clarify with specifics in an interview Tuesday with NBC News. 

NBC’s Craig Melvin requested Harris when the White House’s 500 million exams could be accessible for Americans. Harris responded that they’re “going to go out shortly.” Melvin adopted up asking if the White House ought to have ordered the exams sooner. 

Vice President Kamala Harris struggled to answer questions about COVID-19 tests and the White House's coronavirus strategy in an NBC News interview this week.

Vice President Kamala Harris struggled to answer questions on COVID-19 exams and the White House’s coronavirus technique in an NBC News interview this week.
(LOGAN CYRUS/AFP by way of Getty Images)

“We are doing it,” Harris stated.

“But should we have done it sooner?” Melvin requested once more.

“We are doing it,” Harris replied. 

Pushed additional on whether or not it is time for the White House to change its COVID-19 technique, as a handful of former administration well being officers stated in a letter final week, Harris doubled down on how the White House is dealing with the pandemic. 

“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,” she stated. 

It is time for us to do what we’re doing and that point is day by day. Every day it’s time for us to agree that there are issues and instruments which can be accessible to us to sluggish this factor down

— Vice President Harris on NBC News


And polls present Biden is deep underwater on his approval rankings as Democrats are liable to dropping their tenuous grip on the House and the Senate. That would successfully stall any agenda Biden may hope to implement for the remainder of his first time period. 

Democratic candidates could already be attempting to put some space between themselves and the president. Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams didn’t seem with Biden when he went to Georgia to stump for elections payments this week – despite the fact that that’s her signature situation.

The White House seems to know issues aren’t going effectively. Following Sinema’s remarks Thursday, Biden himself expressed critical doubt that Democrats will likely be in a position to go their elections payments. 

“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. One thing for certain, like every other major civil rights bill that came along. We miss the first time, we can come back and try a second time,” he stated. 

Even the White House’s official readout of the Manchin-Sinema meeting Thursday night time didn’t allude to any progress. 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House Dec. 14, 2021, in Washington. Psaki said Thursday that the White House does not regret taking on difficult tasks. 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks throughout the day by day press briefing on the White House Dec. 14, 2021, in Washington. Psaki stated Thursday that the White House doesn’t remorse taking on tough duties. 
(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

“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 stated. 

A reporter requested Psaki Thursday concerning the White House’s cascading losses up to now this year, saying issues “seem like they are going pretty poorly” and that the president is “stymied on an incredible number of fronts.” 


Psaki responded by highlighting job will increase because the U.S. recovers from its 2020 pandemic doldrums and the very fact most Americans are actually vaccinated. And she stated the White House doesn’t remorse taking on the duties it has, even when a lot of them will not be going effectively. 

“Our effort is to do hard things, try hard things, and keep at it,” she stated. “I think that having worked in a White House before, you do hard things in White Houses. You have every challenge at your feet — laid at your feet, whether it’s global or domestically. And we could certainly propose legislation to see if people support bunny rabbits and ice cream, but that wouldn’t be very rewarding to the American people.”

Fox News’ Sarah Tobianski, Brandon Gillespie, Ronn Blitzer, Caroline McKee and Bill Mears contributed to this report. 

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