Democrats Remain Focused on Biden's Agenda Despite Election Results Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., holds her weekly news conference in the Capitol Visitors Center at the U.S. Capitol building on Oct. 28, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
By Charlie McCarthy | Wednesday, 03 November 2021 11:07 AM
Democrats stubbornly insisted Wednesday that a crushing defeat in the Virginia governor's race and a still undecided gubernatorial outcome in New Jersey had not altered their plans to push through President Joe Biden's massive social spending bill.
Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin stunned former Democrat Gov. Terry McAuliffe in Virginia, and Republican Jack Ciattarelli and Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy shockingly remained locked in a tight race in New Jersey.
As she entered the Capitol on Wednesday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was asked if the election results had changed the way Democrats planned to proceed with Biden’s progressive agenda.
"No, no," Pelosi said, according to a tweet from Politico's Nicholas Wu.
Politico, citing a source "close to the White House," reported that Biden's team will argue the election results reflected voters' desires to see Congress get things done.
A senior Democrat official told Politico that if Tuesday's results appeared lackluster, "it will get so much worse if we don't pass the agenda and aren't able to run on it."
Politico reported that several other Democrats also insisted the results made it more vital that leftist legislation gets passed.
"We have to show we can govern," Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif., told Politico. "The picture has been of Democrats sparring amongst ourselves. That's probably not the best face to put out. I hope that there's more of working toward agreement, like we had today, than openly sparring with each other."
Peters was referring to a breakthrough in talks to lower prescription drug prices for seniors and allow negotiations in Medicare, Politico said.
Politico also reported that some Democrats privately blamed Biden for slowing progress on their leftist agenda by basically supporting progressives who have held up a vote on bipartisan infrastructure legislation while an agreement is sought on social spending.
Biden's plummeting job-approval rating contributed to Youngkin's victory in a state that the president won by 10 percentage points last year.
"Obviously, the president's 42% approval rating is not helpful in a race like this," Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., told Politico. "If it were 55 or 60 [percent], we'd be sailing.
"The challenge is he's laid out a very popular agenda with the American people that has not been fully approved yet."
Some Democrats also blamed the election results on certain party members being obsessed with former President Donald Trump.
"Being anti-Trump is not enough," former Rep. Tom Perriello, D-Va., told Politico. "Democrats need to run on results, and this should light a fire under frontline Democrats to get Build Back Better passed."