Day: December 16, 2021

Background Briefing: December 16, 2021


If or When Will Biden’s Build Back Better Bill Pass Now That it is Shelved Until Next Year

We begin with indications that Biden’s Build Back Better human infrastructure bill will be shelved until the new year and the possibility that the voting rights bills will now be prioritized in the few days left before the Christmas break, although while Senators Manchin and Sinema say they support voting rights reform, they are resisting filibuster reform which is the only way to get the bills passed. Joining us is Paul Waldman, a columnist at The Washington Post’s Plum Line and a senior writer at the American Prospect. He is the author of Being Right is Not Enough: What Progressives Must Learn From Conservative Success, and he has an articles at the Washington Post “How Joe Manchin and Republicans are wrecking our most important debates” and another “Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin mull whether democracy is worth saving.” We discuss whether there was a tradeoff agreed to in these last days of jawboning between Biden and Manchin and the likelihood that if and when Build Back Better is passed next year, it will be even more whittled down. 


A Blow to a Veteran of the Senate Adding to the Exaggerated Perception of a Failing Presidency

Then we look further into this latest blow to the Biden presidency coming from his own party and speak with Daniel Rodgers, a Professor Emeritus of History at Princeton University and the author of Atlantic Crossings: Social Politics in a Progressive Age, Age of Fracture, and most recently, As a City on a Hill: The Story of America’s Most Famous Lay Sermon. He joins us to discuss the fate of reform presidents in recent presidential history and the exaggerated perception of Biden’s weakness which is not helped by the failure of a veteran of the Senate appearing to not be able to get his programs through the Senate.


Could Russia and China Form an Enduring Alliance Against the U.S.?

Then finally we assess whether America’s two nuclear-armed adversaries will be able to form an enduring alliance against the United States since Russia and China have very different approaches to dealing with India for example. Joining us is Gilbert Rozman, the Emeritus Musgrave Professor of Sociology at Princeton University and the editor-in-chief of The Asan Forum, a bi-monthly, online journal on international relations in the Indo-Pacific region. He specializes in societies of China, Japan, Korea, and Russia, and he is the author of International Relations and Asia’s Northern Tier: Sino-Russian Relations, North Korea, and Mongolia.