U.S. President Joe Biden has three years left in office, but some of his domestic agenda may have a much shorter clock.
The White House has a small window of time to pass any meaningful laws in 2022, including the ‘Build Back Better’ plan, Biden allies tell Reuters, before Congress shifts its attention to the November midterm elections. If Democrats in swing districts get cold feet about passing sweeping legislation as voting gets closer, the $2 trillion landmark bill that funds universal preschool and climate initiatives could be derailed entirely.
Democrats believe chances are slim they will retain a narrow majority in both houses of Congress, which allowed them to pass the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill in 2021.
All 435 members of the House are up for reelection in 2022, and one-third of the U.S. Senate, including Democrats in competitive districts in Arizona, Georgia and Nevada.
“History has shown that lawmakers are risk averse during the mid term,” says Phil Schiliro, who served as legislative affairs director under former president Barack Obama. “Some have felt they have taken enough difficult votes and they want to focus on reelection,” Schiliro says.