President Joe Biden has a challenging week ahead of him that will have long-lasting consequences for both his domestic and foreign policy agendas. In order for him to succeed he would need to pass his multi-trillion-dollar spending bill and maintain America’s role as a global leader in overseas meetings.
Democrats have been negotiating on Capitol Hill for months trying to pass the president’s infrastructure legislation as the deadline for key climate provisions in the legislation approaches. Biden will meet with global leaders in Glasgow, Scotland, on Nov. 1 to discuss how the international community should address climate change. However, if Biden cannot push his infrastructure bill through Congress before he leaves, he will lose credibility in Glasgow.
“The president looked us in the eye, and he said: ‘I need this before I go and represent the United States in Glasgow. American prestige is on the line,’” Democratic California Rep. Ro Khanna said on Sunday, just days after meeting with Biden in the Oval Office.
Even as Biden attempts to bring Democrats in Washington together he is testing his electoral weight in key races in New Jersey and Virginia, which will be decided after his return next week. Biden spent Monday campaigning in New Jersey for Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, who leads over his Republican opponent by just six points, down from a 26-point lead earlier this year.
Biden took part in a virtual summit with Virginia’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Terry McAuliffe. McAulliffe lost his lead and is now tied with his Republican opponent, Glenn Youngkin.
Biden will meet with Pope Francis in Rome on Friday, an opportunity for the president who wants to be seen as a devout Catholic while publicly rejecting the Church’s teachings on abortion and gay marriage.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) voted in June to move ahead in drafting a statement clarifying whether U.S. politicians who publicly reject the Church’s teaching on abortion should be denied communion. The organization has not yet presented the statement.
Biden could return the president who secured administration-defining legislation and maintained U.S. authority on climate change, a key issue for Democrats or he could return empty-handed. At the same time, he could return to news of Democratic defeats in New Jersey and Virginia, which would not look good for Democrats in the 2022 midterm elections.