With assist from Allie Bice
Welcome to POLITICO’s 2021 Transition Playbook, your information to the primary 100 days of the Biden administration
If Sen. JOE BIDEN had had his manner, President Biden wouldn’t have been in a position to signal his $1.9 trillion Covid reduction bundle final week.
That’s as a result of for over a decade, Biden was a loud proponent of amending the Structure to solely enable deficit spending with the assist of at the very least a three-fifths majority in Congress, a measure often known as the “Balanced Funds Modification.”
As he wrote in a 1995 New York Occasions op-ed explaining his place, “making an attempt to spend our manner out of recessions is not an choice.”
Biden went on to put in writing that the modification “will drive the Authorities to do what it has been unable to do: to spend solely the cash it takes in, until extraordinary circumstances drive us to search out the sources to spend extra. I’ll [vote for the amendment] within the perception that respect for the Structure will end in a brand new custom of fiscal accountability.”
For a lot of his profession, Biden was thought of extra of a fiscal hawk than a dove. He pushed for spending freezes within the Nineteen Eighties, and he opposed elevating the debt ceiling in 2006 due to what he stated was the Bush administration’s “file of indifference to the value our kids and grandchildren pays to redeem our debt when it comes due.”
Whereas working for reelection in 1984, Biden ran an advert touting his assist for an “quick finances freeze” and “a constitutional modification to restrict spending.” And when he campaigned for president in 2008, his web site boasted that Biden needed “to undertake a Pay-As-You-Go finances. If you wish to spend cash in a single space, you need to pay for it by decreasing spending elsewhere or elevating new income.”
Twelve years later, Biden is lastly president. And his first legislative proposal was the most important deficit spending bundle in historical past.
It’s simply the newest proof of how far left the mainstream of the Democratic Get together has moved in recent times and the way prepared Biden has been to maneuver with it. He’s extra politician than ideologue, who has a really feel for the place the political wind is blowing. At present, that’s to the left, with many Democrats, together with some now within the White Home, arguing that deficit fears are overstated, particularly within the midst of low rates of interest and a historic pandemic.
The nation is about to search out out precisely how far Biden is prepared to shift on these issues as he begins considering a multi-trillion greenback infrastructure bundle. Biden informed GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS broadcast at the moment that he needs to boost taxes on the rich in an effort to boost extra income for issues like infrastructure investments. “Anyone making greater than $400,000 will see a small to a big tax enhance,” he stated.
The Biden White Home declined to touch upon whether or not Biden would nonetheless assist a Balanced Funds Modification. They declined to make anybody out there for an interview.
For some spending hawks, there may be hope that the Covid invoice represents merely an exception to Biden’s intuition for fiscal restraint.
“It has stunned me,” Sen. MIKE CRAPO (R-Idaho), who lately re-introduced a brand new model of the balanced finances modification, stated of Biden’s first bundle. “I anticipated that he would push for a really sturdy Covid-19 invoice within the very early days of his presidency, and I might have supported one which was targeted on the Covid reduction as a result of I consider that emergency spending is justifiable, though it ought to require a supermajority vote.”
However even a few of the most passionate advocates of decreasing the deficit noticed the latest reduction invoice as imperfect however crucial.
The Harmony Coalition and the Committee for a Accountable Federal Funds supported the Covid reduction invoice as crucial emergency spending — although MAYA MacGUINEAS, the CRFB’s president, and ROBERT BIXBY, the coalition’s govt director, each stated they wished it had been extra focused. They plan to push to carry down the deficit as soon as the pandemic is over—advocacy positive to infuriate the left.
Former Sen. AL SIMPSON (R-Wyo.), who co-chaired the Simpson-Bowles Fee that referred to as for dramatic spending cuts and new taxes to cut back the deficit whereas Biden was vp, informed Transition Playbook that “folks have been hurting, their shrieking was popping out from, from the bowels of America to do one thing and in that scenario, as a politician, you do one thing and whether or not they did an excessive amount of, or too little, however no matter it’s a entire completely different state of affairs than every time Joe was within the U.S. Senate or vp.”
He added, with a little bit of traditional Simpson flourish, that “savagery is within the land, hatred is within the land, revenge is on this land. How the hell are you able to even even take into consideration what occurred 20 years in the past on this ambiance?”
However Simpson additionally warned that the debt is “going to chew us within the ass down the street.”
With Victoria Guida (observe her!)
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With Nationwide Safety Adviser JAKE SULLIVAN within the Oval Workplace, the place he spoke nearly with Irish Prime Minister MICHEÁL MARTIN. LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and DANIEL MULHALL, Eire’s ambassador in Washington, additionally joined nearly.
Within the Eisenhower Government Workplace Constructing, the place she swore in Environmental Safety Company Administrator MICHAEL REGAN.
Who was the primary president to attend a St. Patrick’s Day parade?
(Reply is on the backside.)
EDUCATION DEPARTMENT TO KEEP STANDARDIZED TESTING — Training Secretary MIGUEL CARDONA stated at the moment that the division will preserve the federal standardized testing requirement, regardless of outcries that testing ought to pause due to the coronavirus pandemic, MICHAEL STRATFORD studies.
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ONE MAN, MANY TITLES — The White Home introduced at the moment that Biden plans to appoint JOSE W. FERNANDEZ to serve within the following positions: below secretary of State for financial progress, vitality and the atmosphere; U.S. alternate governor of the European Financial institution for Reconstruction and Improvement; U.S. alternate governor to the Worldwide Financial institution for Reconstruction and Improvement; and U.S. alternate governor to the Inter-American Improvement Financial institution.
Fernandez was previously assistant secretary of State for financial, vitality and enterprise affairs in the course of the Obama administration. He’s at present a accomplice at legislation agency Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, in New York.
NAHAL TOOSI, our ace overseas affairs reporter, tells us the decide indicators a seriousness about selling variety at State. However it additionally may frustrate present profession diplomats who’d prefer to see folks of their ranks transfer up.
IT’S UNANIMOUS! The Senate voted 98-0 in favor of Biden’s nomination of KATHERINE TAI to be U.S. commerce consultant, making her the primary Biden nominee to be accredited unanimously. (Sens. MAZIE HIRONO (D-Hawaii) and BERNIE SANDERS (I-Vt.) didn’t vote.)
GAVIN BADE studies that Tai will now be charged with serving to to determine the numerous commerce messes than Trump left behind.
NOT SO FAST ON THE FILIBUSTER — Biden’s name for a return to the “speaking” Senate filibuster in his interview with ABC’s GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS is elating activists who wish to intestine the obstacle to majority rule. But the motion to scrap the chamber’s 60-vote requirement is manner forward of Democrats’ whip rely, BURGESS EVERETT and MARIANNE LeVINE report.
The agency resistance of Democratic Sens. KYRSTEN SINEMA of Arizona and JOE MANCHIN of West Virginia is obscuring the scale of one other, greater faction within the Democratic caucus — name them softer opponents of ending the filibuster.
In interviews Wednesday, at the very least seven extra Democratic caucus members stated that they weren’t prepared to scrap the supermajority requirement for many laws simply but.
TESTING, TESTING: The Biden administration will spend $10 billion in American Rescue Plan funds to display schoolchildren for Covid-19 to assist hasten their return to in-person studying, DAVID LIM studies. The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention will administer the school-screening program, introduced Wednesday.
The Training Division on Wednesday additionally moved to start distributing the almost $122 billion in new Covid reduction funding for the nation’s Okay-12 faculties, which the company stated could be made out there to states “this month.”
LET THE ARP LAWSUITS BEGIN: TOBY ECKERT studies that the Biden administration is defending controversial provisions in Democrats’ coronavirus reduction bundle that put new restrictions on states’ capability to chop taxes, as Ohio’s legal professional normal requested a federal courtroom to rule it unconstitutional.
The laws stipulates that states, the District of Columbia, territories and tribal governments receiving help via the plan — it provides about $220 billion in help to them — can not use that cash to offset “not directly or immediately” the price of chopping taxes.
Biden administration limits what Border Patrol can share with media (NBC Information)
Saudi, Yemeni officers say Biden’s strikes have emboldened Houthi rebels (The Wall Avenue Journal)
How Cedric Richmond’s endorsement is affecting the race to succeed him (The Washington Put up)
Irish humor, Irish mood: How Biden’s identification shapes his political picture (The Washington Put up)
Biden nearly met with Eire’s Prime Minister for St. Patrick’s day on Wednesday. It went extra easily than an analogous assembly a decade in the past.
On St. Patrick’s day in 2010, then-Vice President Biden launched the Irish Prime Minister BRIAN COWEN at a White Home occasion.
Discussing the nation’s shut ties with the U.S., Biden famous how Cowen’s mom “lived in Lengthy Island for 10 years or so.”
“God relaxation her soul,” he added, expressing his condolences.
The one drawback was that Cowen’s mom was very a lot alive.
“Though, wait, you’re Mother’s nonetheless alive!,” Biden stated to the prime minister, who nodded.
“It was your dad [who] handed,” Biden stated. “God bless her soul!”
Cowen, then-President BARACK OBAMA and the group couldn’t assist however snicker.
“I gotta get this straight!” Biden stated.
HARRY TRUMAN attended a St. Patrick’s parade in New York in 1948, making him the primary president to take action, in response to CNN.