President Biden is seeking to push forward on multiple fronts rig…

President Biden is seeking to push forward on multiple fronts right away, even as he grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden has submitted an immigration reform plan to Congress already, and he aims to advance on other topics from climate change to racial justice too.
Theres an argument for taking such a multi-pronged approach. Every president tends to have the greatest leverage at the start of their term, and momentum can be harder to generate as time goes on.
But there is also the question of political capital, which tends to be finite. If Biden proves to have less heft than he thinks to pass legislation, he will disappoint key constituencies.
Were going to need…to be able to act on multiple fronts, Brian DeeseBrian DeeseThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Next steps in the Trump impeachmentThe Hill’s Morning Report – Biden’s crisis agenda hits headwindsBiden to expand food benefits, worker COVID-19 protectionsMORE, director of the National Economic Council, said in the White House briefing room Friday.
Deese was making that point in the context of the presidents proposed $1.9 trillion COVID relief package advancing even as the Senate conducts former President TrumpDonald TrumpNYT: Rep. Perry played role in alleged Trump plan to oust acting AGArizona GOP censures top state Republicans McCain, Flake and Ducey Biden and UK prime minister discuss NATO, multilateralism during callMOREs impeachment trial next month. But the same principle applies to other issues.
Some Democrats are optimistic that across-the-board progress is possible. They suggest the pressure is on their Republican counterparts not to appear obstructionist.
If Biden does well, then people will be very upset if it looks like the Republicans are obstructing, particularly on the economy and on health that will be very bad for them, said Democratic strategist Tad Devine.
Im not predicting that we are going to have immigration reform and all this stuff right at once, Devine added. But I do believe he has a very strong hand right now. There are a lot of votes out there for what Democrats want.
The issue of political capital and how best to deploy it is always a vexing one for new presidents.
Former President Obama stuck to his commitment to enact health care reform even amid an economic catastrophe, persevering past the point when some advisers counseled him to settle for a more modest goal. He signed the Affordable Care Act into law in March 2010, only to see his party suffer crushing losses in the midterm elections later that year.
Former President Clinton fared worse. His 1993 effort at health care reform ran aground, and other controversies also slowed his progress. Clinton early on sought to end the ban on LGBT people serving in the military, then backed off to the Dont Ask Dont Tell compromise policy that didnt really satisfy anyone.
Republicans suggest Biden could be vulnerable to comparable missteps.
He has got a very slim majority in the House and no real majority in the Senate, said John Feehery, a Republican strategist and former GOP leadership aide who is also a columnist for The Hill. I think the problem is when you throw a punch of spaghetti up on the wall and hope something sticks. You really want to be more targeted. Biden is going to be disappointing a lot of people if he is making promises he cant keep.
So far, Biden has utilized executive orders to advance parts of his agenda. He has announced the U.S. will rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, reversed Trumps highly contentious travel ban and paused construction of the border wall, among other things.
But the rubber will really hit the road when it comes to legislation and there is little indication so far that the GOP will be open to giving bipartisan support to anything important.
On the Biden administrations very first day, it took several big steps in the wrong direction, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden leans on Obama-era appointees on climateKentucky Republican committee rejects resolution urging McConnell to condemn Trump impeachmentCalls grow for 9/11-style panel to probe Capitol attackMORE (R-Ky.) said on the Senate floor Thursday, adding that Biden should remember that he does not owe his election to the far left.
Bidens 60-day moratorium on new drilling on U.S. federal lands and waters drew a critical press release from more than 30 House Republicans, including House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseBiden under pressure to deliver more COVID-19 shotsBiden’s inauguration marked by conflict of hope and fearScalise bringing Donna Brazile as guest to Biden inaugurationMORE (R-La.). Scalise branded the plan as a day-one attack on American energy jobs.
Still, liberal activists insist Biden is doing the right thing by seeking action across the board whatever Republicans may say.
Frank Sharry, the founder and executive director of Americas Voice, which seeks liberal immigration reform, said that everyone understood both the tight political math and the need to blunt the pandemic.
Look, there is no question [Biden] is going to prioritize COVID and the economy thats reducing the number of people who die and increasing the number of people who can support themselves and others, Sharry said.
But he added that Bidens broad agenda could work and that, when it came to immigration, its all to play for.
Bidens immigration proposal provides for an eight-year path to citizenship for most people currently in the U.S. illegally. That alone makes it an extremely heavy lift in the Senate, since it would require every Democrat and 10 Republicans to back it unless the Senate filibuster is abolished.
Sharry said he would like to see the filibuster abolished. If it is not, he suggested that some kind of piecemeal approach to the immigration issue might prove more effective than working with Republicans.
I have no hope that Republicans are going to do anything other than obstruct and dream of getting back in power. These are the guys who supported Trump! he said.
The idea that John CornynJohn CornynTrump impeachment trial to begin week of Feb. 8Limbaugh falsely says Biden didn’t win legitimately while reacting to inaugurationTop Texas Democratic Party staffers to step down after underwhelming election resultsMORE or Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSunday shows preview: All eyes on Biden administration to tackle coronavirusRubio: Biden ‘talking like a centrist’ but governing ‘from the radical left’The Hill’s Morning Report – Biden’s crisis agenda hits headwindsMORE is going to take a chance to deliver for immigrants doesnt pass the laugh test, Sharry added, referring to two Republican senators who represent Texas and Florida, respectively.
For now, Democrats are betting that Bidens deal-making abilities forged during more than 30 years in the Senate will help him make quick progress.
But if the public turns out to have limited appetite for anything beyond dealing with the pandemic and its economic impact, he could soon find himself in choppy waters.
The Memo is a reported column by Niall Stanage.