President Joe Biden is arriving back at the White House in the biggest presidency-defining moment of his nine-month-old term, which has so far been tested at home and abroad.
While Biden was overseas, progressive Democrats shifted tacks in their intraparty fight over the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal and Biden's $1.75 trillion partisan social welfare and climate spending framework, repeating they "trust" Biden to persuade the likes of centrist Sen. Joe Manchin to support the larger package. Now, against the backdrop of the closer-than-expected Virginia gubernatorial race, Biden is under pressure to perform.
Preparations are underway to hold votes this week on both the Senate-passed infrastructure deal and Biden's social welfare and climate spending framework. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has already directed her committees to start the mark-up process for the latter, despite Manchin not endorsing it. But if the bills keep floundering, it will be another low point for Biden, according to presidential historian and political commentator David Greenberg.
"Clearly Biden's honeymoon is over and the Democratic internecine squabbling has taken a toll. How much [of] a toll remains to be seen," he said.