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Biden got his infrastructure win, but political rewards are less clear

Biden got his infrastructure win, but political rewards are less clear

President Joe Biden, just under a year into his presidency.

has delivered on a key campaign promise to work across the aisle in order to deliver the largest investment ever in restoring crumbling U.S.

roads bridges and other types of physical infrastructure.

But it’s still not clear whether the bill will shore up the sagging political fortunes of president and his party.

Though Biden has not yet signed into law the $555 billion package.

passed by the House overnight Friday months after it cleared the Senate with robust bipartisan support.

He cast the legislative win as a turning point.

The president and top surrogates planned to fan across the country soon to sell the virtues of the bill to voters, said a White House official.

“I truly believe that 50 years from now, folks are gonna look back and say this was the moment.

this was the period in this year and the next couple years when Americans decided to win the competition of the 21st century.

to get in the game, full bore,” Biden said in remarks Saturday morning.

Biden scores big wins with infrastructure bill and jobs report

In a preview of the message the president plans to take to voters.

he said Saturday that the bill would have a direct impact on people’s daily lives by creating union jobs.

expanding broadband internet access and helping communities withstand the effects of climate change.

The bill also puts money toward clean water initiatives.

at a time when studies have shown that millions are exposed to unsafe tap water or lack access to safe water.

But immediate political rewards for Biden and Democrats were less apparent.

As Biden worked to get the infrastructure bill and the still-in-the-works $1.75 trillion social safety net package

through Congress with slim Democratic majorities, confronting months of legislative logjam, his approval rating tumbled.

Americans are grappling with inflation, supply chain disruptions and a still-ongoing pandemic.

and the promise of new bridges and lead pipe replacements in the years to come may not change the public sentiment anytime soon.

pollsters and strategists say. Still, the midterm elections, typically a referendum on the party in power, are a year away.

White House officials blamed Democratic losses in Tuesday’s elections in Virginia — where Republicans won back the

governor’s mansion and the House of Delegates — on congressional slowness to act on Biden’s agenda. In reliably blue New Jersey, Democratic Gov.

Phil Murphy was only narrowly re-elected.

“They want us to deliver,” Biden said Saturday of voters. “Last night we proved we can. On one big item, we delivered.”

Alongside Biden’s plans to hit the road to promote the bill.

the White House was looking to deploy cabinet members and senior administration officials to red and blue states.

using national and local media coverage to “communicate what is in this plan and what it will mean for the American people,” the official said.

The White House also planned to specifically target their message to African American and Hispanic voters.

The road show appeared designed to avoid Democratic criticism directed at former President Barack Obama’s

administration for not effectively promoting the Affordable Care Act or the economic stimulus bill after they passed.

Democratic strategists have said they hope the success of the infrastructure bill.

paired with the $1.75 trillion social safety net package Democrats advanced Friday night on a party-line basis.

will give their party something to run on next year by showing voters what Democratic lawmakers can offer if they remain in power.

Though Biden has traveled across the country selling his plans, spent hundreds of hours on phone calls and meetings with lawmakers.

and put the rest of his legislative agenda on the backburner, the impact of many of the measures in the bills.

particularly around infrastructure, won’t become tangible to voters for years.

“They’re not going to be felt for God knows how long, it’s not like they’re going to see it at the grocery store tomorrow or in the gas prices.

said Republican pollster Neil Newhouse, co-founder of Public Opinion Strategies.

It’s a pipe dream to believe that this is going to do anything to the president.”

Biden has struggled to get a sustained boost in his poll numbers, even from actions with more immediate apparent impact.

Those numbers have declined since July

when the child tax credit included in the American Rescue Plan started being delivered in monthly checks to parents.

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