The danger has not disappeared. The approval of the double economic stimulus package and public investment worth more than three trillion dollars launched by President Joe Biden to emerge from the pandemic, recover the economy and guarantee the future of the first superpower is not yet guaranteed. Until Thursday, the danger that loomed over its approval extended to the entire economic system: if the Senate did not raise the spending ceiling in which such a colossal budget operation fits before October 18, the United States could incur for the first time in a catastrophic suspension of payments, as the Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen, has emphasized, with consequences in the bond market, the stock markets, the dollar as the reference currency and even the good performance of the world economy.
Republican senators have not given up but have opted for a respite until December 3, a date on which only a new spending authorization will be able to avoid, in addition to the suspension of payments, also the closure of the Administration, a very serious situation. habitual that means the temporary dismissal of civil servants for lack of budget to pay their salaries. Biden is playing the presidency in this challenge, which will define the horizon of the mid-term elections of 2022, in which the Republicans want to regain both chambers and also prepare his return to the White House, an operation in which Donald Trump intends play your cards again.
The greatest difficulty lies in the aging of a political and parliamentary system in which the bipartisan mechanisms built over the years to avoid parliamentary rollers have turned into what political scientist Francis Fukuyama has characterized as a dysfunctional vetocracy. The main obstacle to Biden’s legislative plans, including the protection of voting rights now in jeopardy in many states, is so-called filibustering, which turns the qualified majority of 60 senators into a lockdown mechanism. The key, in any case, is the spending ceiling in the hands of Congress since 1917 and a growing object of partisan politicization, since it allows the demand for counterparts that have nothing to do with the budget or the boycott of any White House proposal. in this case the Keynesian packages, on the part of an opposition as radical as the one now exercised by the Republicans.
It depends on the approval of the package that Biden signs in the wake of the New Deal Rossevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society, the two moments social democrats of the country’s history, or is diluted in a presidency of an irrelevant single term. It plays against the ever-rising political polarization, the occupation of the Republican Party by Trumpist extremism and also the deep divisions among the Democrats. After leaving Afghanistan and taking stock of 20 years of global war on terrorA defeat for Biden thanks to outdated parliamentary mechanisms would be a lousy message of institutional weakness and dysfunctional democracy from a superpower perceived in decline by the rising Chinese rival.