Youngkin victory deals another blow to Biden, as agenda stalls in Congress

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Republican Glenn Youngkin’s victory in Virginia’s gubernatorial election Tuesday night dealt another blow to President Biden and Democrats, as the political newcomer flipped a typically blue state red in a signal of what could be to come in the 2022 midterms.

Youngkin’s victory is the first statewide for the Republican Party in Virginia in 12 years – in what some saw as a referendum on Biden’s presidency and his legislative agenda pending in Congress.

“The Youngkin win in Virginia sends a signal to Democrats: Americans want to get back to work and want their kids to succeed and don’t want policies that are aimed to pit people against each other,” a senior House GOP aide told Fox News. “If I were a moderate Democrat, I’d take tonight as a clear sign that a vote for trillions of dollars of socialist spending while inflation is already hurting Americans’ pocketbooks is a vote in the wrong direction.”

President Biden attends the Action on Forests and Land Use session at the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021. 
(Steve Reigate/Pool via AP)

Republican Rep. Darrell Issa of California also said voters in Virginia “demanded a different direction” for their state. 

“The White House should take note that this is only the beginning,” Issa said. 

Even David Axelrod, an adviser to former President Obama, questioned whether returns in Virginia’s gubernatorial election were forcing Democrats to rethink their votes on Biden’s multitrillion-dollar spending plan.

“If you’re a Democrat sitting on Capitol Hill and you’re from one of these swing districts in suburban areas, are you rethinking tonight your vote on this reconciliation package?” Axelrod said Tuesday night on CNN. “Are you thinking, maybe it’s best, we shouldn’t do it.”

Axelrod added: “If I was sitting in the White House, if I were sitting in the leadership of the, in Democratic counsels in the Congress, I’d be worried about that. I’d be trying to firm these people up.”

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., arrives to meet with the Democratic Caucus at the Capitol in Washington, early Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021. 
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Biden’s Build Back Better economic agenda is pending in the House of Representatives. The Senate has yet to reach an agreement on that spending package.

His social spending package, once valued at $3.5 trillion, is now down to a leaner $1.75 trillion after progressives and moderates agreed to cut programs, including universal community college and paid family leave. That bill only requires a simple majority to pass in the Senate because it would be done through a process known as budget reconciliation, but moderate Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona have said they still will not support it.

Prior to polls closing Tuesday, the president predicted Democratic wins in Virginia and New Jersey and rejected the premise that his performance had any impact on the gubernatorial race.

“I don’t believe, and I’ve not seen any evidence that, whether or not I am doing well or poorly, whether or not I’ve got my agenda passed or not, is going to have any real impact on winning or losing,” the president said during a press conference in Glasgow, Scotland, on the sidelines of the United Nations’ COP26 climate summit. “Even if we had passed my agenda, I wouldn’t claim we won because Biden’s agenda passed.”

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