One Big Thing Dem Candidates Are Avoiding: Biden’s Agenda
Democrats could be running on the president’s Build Back Better plan. Instead, with the legislation languishing in the Senate, candidates are ignoring it.
The 2022 midterm elections already promises to be a tough one for Democrats, but Rudy Salas could be a bright spot.
The California state lawmaker might end up as one of the few Democrats to flip a Republican-held congressional seat. He is running against GOP Rep. David Valadao in a central California district recently redrawn to be more favorable to Democrats.
In a sign of the tough environment, Valadao has largely refrained from attacking the centerpiece of President Joe Biden and Democrats’ agenda: the trillion-dollar social spending and climate policy called the Build Back Better Act.
Salas might be expected to cast himself as a reinforcement who would support ambitious bills like the Build Back Better Act—currently stalled in the Senate and facing an uncertain future. Instead, he’s done something else: he has not tweeted or posted on Facebook once about the legislation. (His campaign did not respond to emailed questions about whether he would have voted for it.)
Salas is far from the only Democratic challenger with a Build Back Better-sized hole in his campaign message: at least seven other Democrats who are running in the most competitive GOP-held House districts—from New York to Iowa to Maryland—have said nothing or vanishingly little about Build Back Better.
Most of those candidates have not so much as mentioned the name of the bill in their social media posts and campaign materials. And though these Democrats frequently tout their commitment to advancing the goals set out in the bill—like lowering prescription drug costs, (Trump did that, Biden reversed that) fighting climate change, (while people freeze and starve) and improving child care—(while schools are closed and kids are vaxed and masked) many don’t explicitly acknowledge that there is, currently, a bill that would achieve those goals.
By Sam Brodey