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Republicans Rage Over Budget, Bibi, And Border, But Can't Dent Biden In Polls

Congressional Republicans are once again outraged that President Joe Biden has not allowed them to run his calendar. This time they are furious that he has not yet submitted a formal budget to Congress.

Biden, who was inaugurated on Jan. 20, has been president for just 76 days. He has spent much of that time cleaning up the messes left by Donald Trump: the ongoing deadly coronavirus pandemic, the economic crisis the pandemic has caused, and systemic problems of racism and violence made even more visible in the past four years.

Still, Republicans on the House Budget Committee used their official Twitter account on Tuesday to attack Biden for not yet releasing a budget proposal.

"President Biden's lack of transparency is historic as he continues to fail to submit any budget plan or outline to Congress," they charged. "When he does it will be the latest a President has submitted an initial budget outline to Congress in the modern budget era. @POTUS where is your budget?"

Biden's acting budget director has been on the job for less than two weeks. Rather than cooperate with Biden's team to ensure a smooth transition, Trump's team at the Office of Management and Budget pretended that they were going to write the 2022 budget, even after Biden's decisive election victory.

Congressional Republicans are demanding that Biden prioritize filing a budget document as if the president is obligated to do exactly what they tweet he should do.

Over the past two months, they have whined repeatedly when Biden didn't drop everything to meet assorted other GOP demands.

For weeks, they complained that since his inauguration, President Biden had not had a phone conversation with embattled and indicted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — even though the two had spoken during the transition and Netanyahu's ambassador to the United States had made clear he was in no rush, saying, "The prime minister is not worried about the timing of the conversation."

"What is @POTUS avoiding?" asked Texas Rep. Ronny Jackson on Feb. 11. "I urge President Biden to ignore the radical left in his party and make a strong show of support for our partnership with Israel by calling @IsraeliPM Netanyahu."

"From Xi and Putin to Mario Kart, President Biden has found plenty of time for many activities since being sworn in," groused Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York on Feb. 16. "It's past time to pick up the phone and call America's loyal friend, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu."

"Over the years, the U.S. has strengthened our relationship with Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, due to our shared interests and values," tweeted Tennessee Rep. David Kustoff on Feb. 17. "Yet, after 28 days, @JoeBiden has still not picked up the phone to call Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu."

Biden and Netanyahu spoke on Feb. 17.

Next, Republicans, who had defended Trump as he attacked and stonewalled the press for four years and set records for the length of time that passed between news conferences, went after Biden for not holding a formal news conference. Biden had frequently answered reporters' questions in informal settings.

"Why does Joe Biden, the least transparent president in history, need to announce his press conference over a week in advance?" asked Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert on March 17 after the White House announced the date.

"What kind of President takes 64 full days to finally have a press conference? NOT a mentally competent one I'll tell you that!" tweeted Jackson on March 18.

"If Trump had gone 60+ days without taking questions and then held a nonsensical press conference like Biden did yesterday, the Dems would be shouting to invoke the 25th Amendment," tweeted Texas Rep. Brian Babin on March 26, the day after Biden spent an hour answering questions from the White House press corps about immigration, Trump, and Biden's plans for 2024.

More recently, congressional Republicans have demanded Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris visit the U.S.-Mexico border to witness what they call a "crisis."

"It's time @JoeBiden takes responsibility for the crisis he has created at our border and makes a visit to see it for himself," Sen. Rick Scott of Florida tweeted on March 23.

"Our border is devolving into more chaos as the days go by," claimed Boebert on March 24. "Joe Biden has yet to announce plans to visit and Kamala Harris cackled at the thought."

"Move the southern border to Delaware and Joe Biden might visit it," sniped Texas Rep. Lance Gooden on March 29.

Biden said in response to questions on whether he'd visit the border, "At some point I will, yes. ... I know what's going on in those facilities."

Despite the GOP outrage, voters seem unperturbed.

According to FiveThirtyEight polling averages, Biden continues to enjoy the positive job approval ratings he's seen since taking office. Those averages put current approval of the job he's doing at 53.6% and disapproval at just 39.6%.

This is a significant reversal from his predecessor. After his first week in the White House, Trump never again reached his highest average approval rating of 46% and spent most of his four years in office with a majority of those polled disapproving of his job performance.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Biden Kicks Off Effort To Reshape Economy With Infrastructure Plan

By Jarrett Renshaw (Reuters) - President Joe Biden on Wednesday will call for a dramatic and more permanent shift in the direction of the U.S. economy with a roughly $2 trillion package to invest in traditional projects like roads and bridges alongside tackling climate change and boosting human services like elder care. He also aims to put corporate America on the hook for the tab, which is expected to grow to a combined $4 trillion once he rolls out the second part of his economic plan in April. Coupled with his recently enacted $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, Biden's infrastructure...

Biden Approval Ratings Soar On Vaccine Action And Relief Bill

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

President Joe Biden's approval ratings are soaring on what remains the top issue for a plurality of Americans, according to a new ABC News/Ipsos poll. The survey found 72 percent of Americans approve of Biden's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, a four-point improvement from earlier this month before Democrats passed the $1.9 trillion rescue plan. Just 28 percent of respondents said they disapproved of Biden's pandemic handling—an astoundingly low level of opposition in these polarized times.

Biden also gets fully 75 percent approval on distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines. As ABC News notes, about 35 percent of adults nationally have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine and, last week, Biden pledged to administer 200 million doses within his first 100 days, doubling his original goal at the outset of his presidency. Even a majority of Republicans, 53 percent, now approve of how Biden is handling vaccine distribution.

Biden's high marks on the pandemic also appear to be translating to high marks on the economic recovery as well, with 60% of respondents approving of it. Between the pandemic and the economic recovery, Biden is earning strong support among both Democrats and Independents. Here's the breakdown:

JOE BIDEN APPROVAL RATINGS ON PANDEMIC, ECONOMY

PANDEMIC HANDLINGVACCINE DISTRIBUTIONECONOMIC RESPONSE
DEMOCRATS96%92%89%
INDEPENDENTS74%77%63%

Where Biden is underwater at the moment is on his handling of gun violence (42 percent approve, 57 percent disapprove) and the surge of migrant children at the border (41 percent approve, 57 percent disapprove).

But in terms of the issues that remain most important for most Americans at present—the pandemic and the economy—President Biden is meeting the moment. Biden and his White House will now pivot to passing a massive infrastructure bill that could revolutionize the country's economy for the 21st century.

New Poll: Biden Approval Rating High With Split By Gender, Race And Education

Through several Gallup polls in the early months of President Joe Biden's administration, approval of the president appears to be split along gender, race and educational lines. While Biden enjoys near unanimous support from Democrats, 96 percent according to Gallup's most recent data, 62 percent of women and 49 percent of men approve of Biden. Also, 64 percent of college graduates approve of Biden while only 51 percent of non-college grads approve. While 89 percent of black Americans and 73 percent of Hispanic Americans approve of Biden, only 45 percent of white Americans do. Gallup also found that Biden's support is centralized in urban areas wi...