President Joe Biden’s lack of response to a call for action to pass Democrats’ elections overhaul legislation has progressives sniping at his inertia even as Republicans continue to question his mental state.
Democratic Rep. Mondaire Jones of New York relayed to The Associated Press that when he was at the White House last weekend for the signing of the bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday, he urged Biden to push for the elections overhaul bill that ended up getting stymied Tuesday by the Senate.
Biden “just sort of stared at me,” Jones said, calling the moment an “awkward silence.”
To Jones, that summed up Biden’s lack of being what progressives want him to be.
“[Former] President [Barack] Obama, for his part, has been doing more to salvage our ailing democracy than the current president of the United States of America,” Jones said.
“I think it’s demonstrably clear that (Biden) hasn’t done a lot. This is someone who has all the resources available to him as the most powerful person in the world to rally members of his own party to at least make an exception to the filibuster for purposes of saving our democracy,” Jones added, according to CNN. “And instead, the media and the work of a number of senators has been focused on a bipartisan infrastructure package.”
Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman of New York said Biden should be more active, CNN reported.
“He’s not absent, but he needs to be a lot more vocal and a lot more out front,” he said, adding that Biden “needs to lead out front and be very vocal on this issue.”
Bowman said Democrats will pay the price for Biden’s lack of action.
“The American people have sent us here to deliver. If we deliver, we maintain power in 2022. If we don’t, and we show that inability to deliver, then we risk losing power, and risk this moment in American history, to really push a progressive, Democratic agenda,” he said, according to CNN.
The two New Yorkers are not alone.
“Progressives are losing patience, and I think particularly African American Democrats are losing patience,” Democratic strategist Joel Payne said, the AP reported. “They feel like they have done the kind of good Democrat thing over the last year-plus, going back to when Biden got the nomination, unifying support around Biden, turning out, showing up on Election Day.”
“Progressives feel like, ’Hey, we did our part.′ And now when it’s time for the bill to be paid, so to speak, I think some progressives feel like, ’OK, well, how long do we have to wait?’” Payne said.
While progressives fume about what Biden has not done, many Republicans are wondering what in fact he is even able to do.
Biden’s ability to function as president was recently called into question by Republican Rep. Ronny Jackson of Texas and 13 other Republicans who sent Biden a letter, urging him to take a cognitive test and make the results public.
Jackson served as a White House physician under former Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump.
The letter stipulated that a cognitive test was necessary because Biden’s “mental decline and forgetfulness have become more apparent over the past eighteen months.”
“We believe that, regardless of gender, age, or political party, all Presidents should follow the precedent set by former President Trump to document and demonstrate sound mental abilities,” the letter read.
Jackson said it is “past time” that Biden submit to a cognitive test.
“The American people deserve to have absolute confidence in their President. They deserve to know that he or she can perform the duties demanded of the office, and they deserve to have full transparency on the mental state of their highest elected leader,” the congressman said in a statement on his website.
“I would argue that the American people don’t have that confidence in President Biden.”
“When I was Physician to President Donald J. Trump, the liberal media relentlessly pushed a narrative that he needed a cognitive test and that it should be the standard for anyone serving as Commander-in-Chief and Head of State,” Jackson said.
“I administered the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MOCA) test and President Trump excelled. Given the precedent set and Biden’s clear mental impairment, I believe it is past time he undergo a cognitive test.”
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