Battered and bruised by 24 hours of rising inflation rates, a Supreme Court blockade on vaccine mandates for private companies and an almost certain defeat for a push on voting rights, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki reached for a tool of choice: Snark.
“We could certainly propose legislation to see if people support rabbits and ice cream, but that wouldn’t be very worthwhile for the American people,” she said when asked if it was time for a reset.
“So the president believes that we will continue to push for difficult things.
“And we keep pushing the rock up the hill to make it happen.”
Psaki arrived on the podium of the briefing room on one of the government’s worst days to date.
Minutes earlier, the Supreme Court halted one of its key measures to deal with the pandemic, overturning President Joe Biden’s plans to impose vaccines on employees of companies with more than 100 employees.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday opposed the idea of a government in need of a reset, saying President Biden remained focused on tough action. “We could certainly propose legislation to see if people support rabbits and ice cream, but that wouldn’t be very rewarding for the American people,” she said.
Psaki appeared after Senator Kyrsten Sinema nearly crushed Biden’s hopes of pushing through voting rights legislation when she said she could not support changes to the filibuster
And on Thursday, the Supreme Court dealt a blow to Biden’s vaccine plans, removing his mandate from companies with more than 100 employees.
At the same time, sen. Kyrsten Sinema rejected Biden’s plea to jettison the Senate filibuster rule, effectively shattering his hopes to pass voting rights legislation.
That was even after Biden traveled to Capitol Hill and committed his own time and political capital to try to persuade Democratic senators to help him.
Meanwhile, Russian troops remain camped on the border with Ukraine despite US threats with sanctions.
A day earlier, the Department of Labor said the consumer price index reached seven percent late last year — the highest figure in nearly 40 years.
And Biden’s massive Build Back Better spending plans remain stalled due to opposition within his own party.
Against that background, Biden’s press secretary was repeatedly asked what had gone wrong.
Was it contact with Congress, leadership in the White House or something?
Psaki said she had a different opinion.
‘More than 200 million people are being vaccinated. We’ve had record job growth over the past year, record low unemployment in this country over the past year, we’ve been rebuilding our alliances and our relationships around the world,” she said.
She added that the president had signed an infrastructure bill and continued to work with members of Congress on his Build Back Better plans.
“Our effort is to do hard things, try hard things and persevere,” she said.
“So we just don’t see it through the same prism.”
Still, Biden’s approval ratings are firmly in negative territory. On Wednesday, a Quinnipiac University poll revealed that only 33 percent thought he was doing a good job.
And this week, he signaled a major push on voting rights, traveling to Atlanta, Georgia, as his administration unveiled a new priority after spending plans stalled.
But Thursday it was dead, murdered in the Senate by Sinema.
She labeled a wave of new laws restricting access to ballots in Republican-led states as undemocratic, but said she couldn’t vote to change Senate rules to pass a federal law she would pass. counteracts.
“I will not support individual actions that exacerbate the underlying disease of division in our country,” said Sinema, who knows her voters are well to the right of mainstream Democrats.
Some have given up on the goal of easing our divisions and uniting Americans. I do not have.’
It was just the latest setback for a government that has had a rough start to the year.
For his part, Biden said it is vital to protect voting rights as he nearly admits defeat.
“I hope we can get this done,” he told reporters.
“The honest answer is, I don’t know if we can pull this off.”