President Joe Biden’s agenda on Capitol Hill is off to a mixed start. He scored a major early victory with passage of the $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief and stimulus law. He’s been fighting to follow that up with major investments in infrastructure, safety net expansions, climate change mitigation and tax increases on the wealthy.
Those goals have potential, in large part because the Democratic-controlled Congress can pass them with or without Republicans. But other priorities like addressing gun safety, overhauling immigration and bolstering voting rights have hit dead ends due to the Senate filibuster and, in some cases, Democratic divisions in a Congress where the party has wafer-thin margins in both chambers.
Biden’s biggest legislative success so far has been the Covid-19 relief law, which bolstered resources for vaccine distribution, authorized $1,400 checks for most Americans and more. As much of the U.S. has gotten vaccinated, coronavirus deaths have plummeted, much of the economy has reopened and voters give Biden high marks for his handling of the pandemic.