In his first few months in office, President Biden has been and will continue pursuing an aggressive agenda to address the foundations of his Build Back Better plan focused on 1) controlling COVID-19, 2) providing economic relief, 3) addressing climate change and 4) focusing on racial equity and civil rights. He has also taken action on immigration and continued outreach to foreign leaders. Despite a slow start on executive branch confirmations, President Biden has been utilizing presidential authorities and is working with Democratic allies in Congress to try to advance his agenda. Through the use of budget reconciliation, he was able to secure passage of the $1.9 trillion dollar American Rescue Plan (ARP), which was signed into law on March 11th.
However, the use of the reconciliation process has exacerbated an already toxic atmosphere on Capitol Hill just as Members of Congress turn their focus to more traditionally bipartisan issues such as infrastructure legislation and China/U.S. competitiveness. Infrastructure, for example, is an issue Members of both parties generally support but have vastly different approaches in terms of size, scope and policy.
Our Spring Policy Outlook provide more details on some of the top priorities for the Biden Administration and Democratic Congress as they return from recess.