His case may hinge on Washington's current state of affairs, where he is still trying to complete a major domestic legislative package.
After a tumultuous day of discussions about twin infrastructure and social spending bills, which he described as a choice between leading the world or letting it pass him by, Biden landed in Rome aboard Air Force One on Friday morning with no clear answer.
Biden will travel to the Group of 20 summit in Rome, followed by a trip to Glasgow, Scotland for a U.N. Climate summit. He will be asked to present concrete ideas to stop a global pandemic and boost economic growth, and to slow down climate change's acceleration. These stakes may seem high for two days attended by global elites and their entourages. It's in the title of the Rome meeting: "People Planet Prosperity."
This was his promise to align U.S. diplomatic efforts with the interests the middle class. Any success at home has been tied to his efforts to convince Congress to support his social, environmental, tax, infrastructure, and tax policies. If the United States refuses to fully embrace his goals, it could make it harder for the world to agree to them. This is one of the risks associated with Biden's decision to combine his domestic and international policies.
Biden urged House Democrats to support a $1.75 trillion "framework," which he believes can pass the 50-50 Senate. As key priorities such as paid family leave and lower prescription drug prices were not included in the bill, it remains to be seen if lawmakers will accept the package. The bill will also be funded with higher taxes on the nation’s richest and corporations.
According to a source, Biden said that the rest of the world is wondering if we can function.
Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker, invoked the trip to try to rally Democratic votes for the $1 trillion separate infrastructure package. She also tried unsuccessfully to gain support for a vote Thursday before Biden arrived to Rome.
She stated that "when the president gets off that airplane we want him have a vote-of-confidence from this Congress." "To have success today, we must succeed."
Biden was on the air while Pelosi faced opposition from progressives, who also want assurances the scaled back social spending plan will be passed, and pulled the plug. Instead, she set out to pass another stop-gap funding measure that would fund a variety of transportation initiatives.
Biden's visit abroad comes as he is facing a more pessimistic country at home and sour views about his economic management. A new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows that only 41% of Americans approve of Biden’s economic stewardship. This is a significant drop from 49% in August. It also marks a dramatic reversal from March when 60% of Americans approved.
Americans are divided on Biden in general, with 48% applauding and 51% disapproving his handling of the presidency. A mere third of Americans believe the country is heading in the right direction. This is a substantial decline from earlier this year, when only half said so.
Biden's decision not to closely link his domestic and international policies has had one consequence: both are now at the mercy West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, and Arizona Sen. Kyrsten sinema. Their votes are crucial in a Senate that is evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans. Biden's aides hoped for, among others, a $500 billion investment in combating climate change in the United States. This would aid efforts to convince China and other countries to invest in renewable energy.
Biden stated Monday that it would be very, very beneficial to have it done before the trip.
As talks continued, officials from the administration began to minimize the importance of Biden’s spending plan that is still in limbo. Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, stressed that the president can still use the phones from Rome (the city that gave rise to the term "Senate") and suggested that foreign leaders could see beyond current backroom discussions with U.S lawmakers to assess Biden's commitment.
Psaki stated that they don't view it as if there are votes in one legislative body before he board an airplane.
Jake Sullivan, the national security advisor, has framed these bills as essential to the nation's safety and security. He stated that "Making these investments into American strength will be very important for our national security going ahead."
The president will embark on a dangerous journey to secure a deal. He is accompanied by a specialist in prayer. Biden, the second Catholic president of the United States, will meet Pope Francis at Vatican on Friday in a meeting that is both personal and policy-oriented, especially in relation to climate change and dealing with autocracies.
Biden will also visit the Italian hosts at the G-20 summit, before he meets with President Emmanuel Macron. Biden wants to repair the rift between France and the U.S. that was created by the U.K. Biden agreed to supply nuclear-powered submarines for Australia, replacing a French contract.
Biden will also meet with Turkish President Recep TAYYIP Erdogan. He has reacted to Western threats to expel diplomats, and whose purchase Russian surface-to-air Missiles has hampered his country's participation at the F-35 fighter programme.
Biden will likely address the Iranian nuclear threat at these and other meetings. He may also discuss Iran's announcement next month that it might return to negotiations in Vienna.
He will also continue to push wealthier U.S. allies for increased commitments to sharing COVID-19 vaccinations with low- and middle-income nations. Some countries have not been able to fulfill their ambitious promises while others have remained on the sidelines. Biden will argue that vaccines cannot be made available to all people until the pandemic is over. Democracies must also ensure that there are no strings attached to Russian and Chinese vaccine diplomacy.
Biden will not have much interaction with these two American rivals. Xi Jinping from China and Vladimir Putin from Russia are only participating in summits virtually due to the pandemic threat. These two leaders are crucial for global climate issues in a time when energy prices are rising. China has pledged to increase coal mining before winter. Russia's natural gas resources give it some political power over certain parts of Europe.
The president will not only be highlighting the personalities and policies of Biden's visit, but will also be trying to promote democracy. He will argue that democracy's essential elements -- fair elections, representative government -- are better than autocracies in bad times and good.
Biden will be leading a large U.S. delegation to Scotland for the climate summit on Sunday night. He hopes to highlight America's plans to combat climate change. This is a stark reversal of former President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the U.S. form the Paris climate agreement.
Biden will deliver a major address on climate change, and attempt to regain the American leadership role. The cost of moving away from oil and other fossil-fuels is a major objection. However, the president has claimed that extreme weather caused by climate change is already a price.