President Biden is spending Labor Day at his home in Wilmington, Delaware, as his approval ratings tank due to rising COVID-19 cases, record-smashing illegal immigration, economic concerns and the chaotic US pullout from Afghanistan.
It’s Biden’s 19th trip to his private residences in Delaware since taking office. He is scheduled to return to the White House around 6 p.m. Monday. On Tuesday, he will visit Queens to tour flooding damage from Tropical Storm Ida.
Biden’s domestic political agenda, including plans to pass a pair of bills putting $4.7 trillion toward infrastructure and social spending, is complicated by his plummeting popularity.
A poll released last week by Marist, NPR and PBS found a 10 point drop since May in Biden’s public approval — falling to 43%. Disapproval increased to 51%.
An ABC News/Washington poll released last week found Biden had 44% public approval — down from 50% in June — and 51% disapproval.
It’s unclear if Biden is performing any work during his holiday weekend at home. The White House typically releases little information about his activities while in Delaware.
Although the White House applauded itself for transparency in resuming the partial release of West Wing visitor logs, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki recently told The Post that there would be no visitor logs released from Biden’s Delaware residences.
Biden’s domestic agenda faces a significant challenge in the month ahead as Democrats seek to cajole centrists including Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WVa.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) into supporting a $3.5 trillion bill that would hike taxes to finance new social programs such as free preschool and subsidized child care and home health care.
House Democrats still need to pass a more narrow $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that already passed the Senate. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and more left-wing House members have sought to use that bill as leverage to force centrists into backing the larger bill, which can pass without any Republican support using special budget reconciliation rules.
Biden can’t afford to lose a single Democratic vote in the Senate for the reconciliation bill and only a handful of House defectors could kill the infrastructure bill.
The president’s sinking popularity threatens to doom Democrats in Congress who are too closely associated with him ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
Biden’s long weekend comes just a week after the final US troops left Afghanistan last Monday, with more than 100 US citizens and thousands of Afghans who worked for the US government left stranded, despite Biden’s assurances that US troops would remain until any American who wanted to leave could do so.
In a potentially serious development, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Sunday that the Taliban is holding six airplanes carrying Americans and Afghan refugees “hostage” at an airport in northern Afghanistan — while Americans organizing charter flights out of the war-torn country accuse the State Department of holding up the ongoing evacuations.
Although Americans overwhelmingly approved of Biden’s decision to remove US troops from Afghanistan after nearly 20 years, there’s broad disapproval of his planning for the final drawdown, which resulted in a desperate struggle to board flights at Kabul’s airport after the Taliban entered the Afghan capital; 13 young US troops died in a bombing on the airport’s perimeter.
The Marist/NPR/PBS poll released last week found 61% disapproved of how Biden exited Afghanistan. The ABC/Washington Post poll found 60% disapproval.
Biden’s ratings on handling the COVID-19 pandemic and the economy also tanked as the Delta variant of the virus drives a surge in cases, causing hiring to slow and inflation to spike. His economic approval dropped from 52% in April to 45%, the ABC/Washington Post poll found. He still has 52% approval for pandemic management, but that’s down 10 percentage points from June.