BALTIMORE — Three years ago, the leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, endorsed liberal icon Bernie Sanders for president while challenging Joe Biden’s stance. progressive credentials.

At the annual House Democrats’ retreat this week, Jayapal stood before a bank of television cameras and declared Biden «the most progressive president we’ve had in a long time.»

“I would like to see him announce sooner,” Jayapal of Washington said later of his 2024 re-election bid.

The president has said that he intends to run for a second term, but has not officially announced his candidacy. An official announcement is anticipated this spring.

Biden’s approval ratings remain stuck in the low 40s, voters rank even higher under his handling of the economy and there are lingering concerns about his age. He is already the oldest president in history, and if he runs and wins re-election, Biden would be 86 by the end of his second term.

But at a three-day meeting of House Democrats in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor this week, Democrats from all corners of the party — progressives and moderates alike, leaders and rank-and-file — said they would stick with Joe in 2024.

“Biden will kill them both,” New York progressive Rep. Jamaal Bowman said of former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in a speech. viral sharing with Rep. Byron Donalds, Republican of Florida, on the steps of the Capitol this week. “Biden Passed Three Bipartisan Bills After Insurrection During Global Pandemic, Reopened Schools, Killing The Game!”

Bowman, a member of the “Squad” of progressive lawmakers of color, echoed that same sentiment to colleagues and reporters later in the week in Baltimore.

It’s not just progressive members in safer blue districts who are excited about Biden’s re-election. Some vulnerable Democrats, like Rep. Lauren Underwood of Illinois, said they have no qualms about running with Biden in 2024 despite his position among voters. In last year’s midterm elections, Democrats braced for a red wave against Biden that they thought would sweep through the House; instead, it was a wave of the GOP and 35 of the most attacked members of the Democratic Party, including Underwood, rejected the GOP’s challenges and returned to Congress.

“Democrats are united. Let’s start there. We are united,» Underwood told reporters this week. “We are very proud of the progress the Biden-Harris administration has made, and I am certainly very pleased to have the opportunity to be on a ballot with President Biden in 2024. Unequivocally. Final point.

At-risk Democrats like Underwood are feeling better about Biden after the party’s better-than-expected showing in the midterms and the fact that voters are finally feeling the pinch of several landmark bills Biden signed into law in the last Congress.

Construction is beginning on new highways, bridges, and water and sewer projects, funded by the bipartisan infrastructure package; the CHIPS and Science Act has spurred billions in investment in domestic computer chip manufacturing; the PACT Act has expanded medical care for veterans who were exposed to toxic combustion pits; and Biden’s signature health care and climate law, the Inflation Reduction Act, is lowering prescription drug prices for millions of Americans.

“People will understand what they have done and we will make sure of it,” Biden said during his televised address to House Democrats this week.

He was greeted in Baltimore with a standing ovation, and after reporters and TV cameras were ushered out, Biden visited with his House allies for more than an hour, discussing issues like climate change, the economy , the war in the Ukraine and the Ohio train. derailment, lawmakers said.

Because they avoided a red wave in 2022, Democrats in the House need to flip a net of just five seats to regain a majority in 2024. And they’re optimistic they’ll do much better than that.

New Hampshire Rep. Annie Kuster, the new chair of the group of pro-business moderates known as the New Democrats, said having Biden on the ballot will be beneficial in targeting the 18 Republicans representing districts the president won in 2020. .

“In those 18 districts that are held by Biden’s Republicans, he’s the best in terms of his messaging and how he approaches this,” Kuster said. “And the coalition that he built in 2020 [is] coming back even stronger in 2024.”

Democrats said no one at this week’s retreat in Baltimore badmouthed Biden or suggested he drop the party’s 2024 bid. But one House Democrat has been beating the drum on the need for a generational change. Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota, who did not attend the retreat due to a personal matter, said he would like to see younger candidates compete for the 2024 nomination, even as he praised Biden.

If Biden «were 15 to 20 years younger, it would be a no-brainer,» Phillips told politician last month. «But considering their age, it is absurd that we are not promoting competition but trying to extinguish it.»

Other Democrats don’t go there.

Rep. Pete Aguilar of California, the new chairman of the Democratic Caucus that organized the Baltimore retreat, was asked at a Punchbowl News event if Biden would be the best candidate for the party in 2024.

“Well, I think he will win. I think he is our strongest candidate. I think if you look at the body of work that we’ve been able to accomplish over the past few years, I think it demonstrates to the American public exactly what their values ​​are,” Aguilar responded.

“Republicans who ran to extremism were pushed back. But there he was, Joe Biden, signing into law the American Bailout Plans, the bipartisan infrastructure bill, and gun safety legislation. Time and time again, he was able to deliver with the Democrats in the House, with the Democrats in the Senate,” Aguilar added. «So I think he can and should run, and he will have the support of the House Democratic Caucus.»

Jayapal said the Congressional Progressive Caucus that she chairs has formed a strong bond with Biden and his team over the past several years and has influenced several pieces of Biden’s inflation-reduction bill. She will soon be sitting down with Biden’s new chief of staff, Jeff Zients, she said.

“No one is surprised that Biden was not my choice in the first election for the primary. But the CCP, the president and his administration have formed an incredibly strong partnership,” Jayapal said. “They have been very respectful both with our power and with our ability to deliver the votes they need, but also with our ideas.”

“This was the president’s progressive agenda that we were pushing for,” he continued, “and he has told me and he has told us as a group, time and time again, that he is grateful that we support him.”

Por admin