Biden begins his second term with a divided Congress and under the shadow of Trump

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There was no “red wave”. It was a tie. But the congress divided in two and the rift that is deepening throughout the country, are going to complicate the second part of his term for a president who it is not known if he will be able to run for re-election. The Age of Uncertainty is fully installed in the United States

Biden begins his second term with a divided Congress and under the shadow of Trump

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Gustavo Sierra

Biden begins his second term with a divided Congress and under the shadow of Trump

President Joe Biden will have to govern the second two years of his Administration under the shadow of a Trump in decline and a divided Congress. REUTERS/Brian Snyder.

The much talked about “red wave”Republican crisis that was going to take place in last week's midterm elections in the United States, according to Donald Trump and his acolytes, never happened. Instead, there was a tie that tasted like victory for the Democrats. The ruling party retained control of the Senate and the opposition gained control of the House of Representatives. A very traditional balance of power in Washingtonbut that in recent years has resulted in paralysis and disputes. A climate that erodes the democratic system and casts a shadow cloud over the next two years of Joe Biden's government.

The other worrying element is that Donald Trump has already launched his presidential candidacy for 2024 despite growing opposition to his worn-out figure within the apparatus that controls the Republican Party and the emergence of an even more radical figure, but with better manners, such as the re-elected governor of Florida, Rum De Santis. There will be an internal struggle for the candidacy that, inevitably, will lead to a break between the Trump supporters who are looking for a somewhat more stable character for the White House.

In the Congress, with the Senate in the hands of the Democrats and the House of Representatives in the hands of the Republicans, will most likely return to paralysis and bickeringthat defined a divided federal government in recent years. Neither party will have the votes needed to pass important laws. The Democrats will likely be forced to drop the rest of their ambitious agenda, such as protecting abortion rights in states that don't want to recognize it and expanding tax credits< /b> for families with children.

Biden begins his second term with a divided Congress and under the shadow of Trump

Young women were the key to the Democrats' victory in maintaining control of the Senate. Here, supporters of John Fetterman, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. REUTERS/Quinn Gablicki

Republicans are going to be in a position to bring up their old strategy: force an extreme cut in public spending, arguing that debt and deficits are out of control. In the 2010s, Republicans used these threats to block spending bills and make it harder to carry out Barack Obama's presidential agenda, regardless of whether they closed government offices or left thousands out of work. Something they didn't do when Donald Trump was in the White House. In that period, Republican lawmakers passed budgets and fiscal measures that pushed the debt and deficit to “new highs.”Over the past two years, Trump has pressured lawmakers from his party to use these tactics to get concessions from Democrats. The fights over public spending will be the legislative hallmark of these next two years.

One of Congress's main responsibilities is to allocate funds for federal government services and programs, such as Social Security, the military, and scientific research. Because the government often spends more than it takes in, Congress also has to raise the cap set by lawmakers, limiting the federal government's ability to borrow. Both houses of Congress have to approve funding appropriations and debt limit increases. Representative Kevin McCarthy, who this week obtained the support of his party to become the next president of the House of Representatives, has already said that his bench is not willing to do so: “We will provide them with more money, but they have to change their current behavior,” he said. “We are not going to keep raising your credit card limit.”

This would lead directly to the closure of some state agencies such as national parks and inspections environmental or food. Also those of State control and the administrative offices of the Secretariats (ministries). It already happened in 2013 and twice in 2018.The immediate consequence is that hundreds of thousands of workers from the affected agencies lose their salaries.

Biden begins his second term with a Congress divided and under the shadow of Trump

A period of confrontation begins in the US Congress in which the Republicans will try by all means to lower the level of state spending. (AFP)

But there is another even more serious consequence. By not raising the debt limit, the government could default on Treasury bonds. Something unthinkable, but possible in this climate of confrontation. “That would destroy the confidence that sustains the value of Treasury bonds, causing the collapse of investment, previously risk-free, and taking with it a large part of the financial system,” explained a specialist from the Department of the Treasury. Treasure to the New York Times.

Democrats have a window until January, when new lawmakers take office, to try to pass a spending bill or raise the debt limit. Some Washington analysts downplay these consequences. They believe that the majority of Republicans in the House is thin and that this could lead some moderates in that party to not want to bear the costs of infightingand with the government. The White House continues to have a lot of power to favor or not favor the small districts that these Republicans represent. In short, the traditional power game of Washington and so many other capitals of the world.

Above all this is the shadow of Donald Trump throwing from his Mar-a-Lago club/mansion. Although he no longer has the aura that he maintained among his followers . Some of his main promoters are leaving. This is the case of Rupert Murdoch, the tycoon owner of a media empire. His platforms Fox News and the New York Post , which until a few days ago supported Trump and the false statements of him to the last consequences, turned almost a hundred and eighty degrees. “Election denial, as the midterm results have just shown, is not a political winner”, writes Susan B. Glasser in The Newyorker. “Murdoch's media empire is embarking on a remarkable 'we told you so' campaign that hits Trump.”

The former president was unfazed and on Tuesday, well after dinner time, he announced his long-awaited 2024 bid with a very traditional speech of his full of anger, grievances, lies and his trademark outrageous swagger. He spoke of criminal migrants storming the border, cowardly foreign countries ripping us off, the epidemic of drugs and crime in “the bloody streets of our once great cities.” Of course, according to his story, under his tutelage there were four of the best years in the history of the country that now went overboard with Biden. He even called the current term “a pause” that he took – by no means lost the election – to rest in Florida before returning to the fight in Washington.

< p>Biden begins his second term with a divided Congress and under the shadow of Trump

Rupert Murdoch, the media czar, when he unconditionally supported Trump. Last week, his media asked that the former president not present his candidacy. (Reuters)

But it's not the same anymore. He ran out of credit for his friend Murdoch that he did so much to sustain it. When he was about to launch some tirade against international politics remembering his enemy Angela Merkel, the Fox network interrupted the live broadcast and his friend -another disgraced man-, the presenter Sean Hannity< /b>, he had to continue the program without being able to beat the trumpist patch as he has done without exception in the last six or seven years. At the same time, his former vice president, Mike Pence , was appearing on CNN., who is promoting a new memoir in which he destroys Trump's arguments and places him at the center of the scene of the storming of the Capitol and the attempted coup > January 6, 2020.

Shortly thereafter, on the same news network, Vermont Social Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders said one of those things all the moderate Democrats and Republicans were thinking but couldn't quite articulate: “As an American, another Trump campaign and all his lies and division and his efforts to undermine American democracy is an absolute horror show that I would never want to see again. . . On the other hand, I have to say that as a politician who wants no Republicans elected to the White House in 2024, from that perspective, his candidacy is probably a good thing.”

With this panorama and a president who, due to his age, it is not known if he will be able to run for re-election, the Age of Uncertainty is fully installed in the United States.

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