Inside the Beltway: Republicans warned not to ‘get cocky’

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Yes, President Biden’s approval ratings are sinking, prompted by notable failures here and abroad plus policy mishaps on a very public stage. Naturally, all this lousy news just nine months into Mr. Biden’s presidency is enough to make Republicans grin with delight as they envision big victories in the 2022 midterm elections.

But wait. It may not be time to break out the party hats just yet, some say.

“Yeah, Biden’s a mess, but Republicans can’t get cocky,” writes Stephen Kruiser, senior columnist and associate editor of PJ Media.

“Republicans are already starting to use this disaster of a presidency to taint Democrats who are running next year. If the election were this year, Dems would have to run screaming from Biden’s record to have any hope of winning at all. There is no reasonable expectation that anything this president and his puppet masters do will ever get better. The Democrats’ fortunes aren’t going to dramatically improve by this time next year,” Mr. Kruiser continues.

“The danger for Republicans right now is overconfidence. The party and its 2022 candidates can’t get lazy and start assuming victory. They also have to keep an eye on what kind of election shenanigans the Democrats are undoubtedly going to try and get away with in the name of COVID next year,” Mr. Kruiser said.

“There’s a golden opportunity for the Republican Party to have a big year in 2022, but everyone involved needs to remain focused — and hope the country survives the Biden wrecking ball,” the columnist advised.

SOME NUMBERS TO CONSIDER

A major pollster now sides with those who believe that the 46th president is losing the support of the nation.

“With his administration facing multiple challenges at home and abroad, President Joe Biden’s job approval rating has fallen sharply in the past two months. Fewer than half of U.S. adults (44%) now approve of the way Biden is handling his job as president, while 53% disapprove. This marks a reversal in Biden’s job ratings since July, when a 55% majority approved of his job performance and 43% disapproved,” reports the Pew Research Center.

This is a hefty poll, so pay attention. The survey of 10,371 U.S. adults was conducted Sept. 13-19.

FOR THE LEXICON

“Biden’s Build Back Broke Plan.”

This handy little term was coined the Republican National Committee as a parody of President Biden’s much ballyhooed and very expensive “Build Back Better Plan,” which includes COVID-19 relief, infrastructure improvements, clean-energy projects, job creation and much, much more — with a price tag of $7 trillion or so.

A PRACTICAL LAWMAKER FOR A CHANGE

Here’s some practical and straightforward legislation to consider, as articulated by Rep. Tony Gonzales, a Texas Republican who sees to the needs of the vast 23rd Congressional District — which stretches from western San Antonio to just outside El Paso and hugs about 800 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Mr. Gonzales  — along with 38 of his House Republican colleagues — has introduced a resolution calling on the Biden administration to meet its obligation to fully enforce federal immigration laws. HR 676 cites “significant threats” to the city of Del Rio, Texas, during the ongoing surge of migrants — including public health and safety issues plus security vulnerabilities.

The bill calls for the Biden administration to reinstate the Remain in Mexico policy enacted by former President Donald Trump, continue to enforce COVID-related Title 42 expulsions, commit more Border Patrol and ICE agents to the enforcement task, beef up resources on the southern border, and to support Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s statewide emergency disaster request.

“The Biden Administration’s reversal of immigration policies has led to the historic spike in migration at our southern border, including the recent migrant surge in Del Rio,” said Mr. Gonzales in a statement

“In order to prevent another national security and humanitarian crisis, it is critical that our federal government reimplement successful immigration laws and commit further support at the southern border,” he advised.

The resolution was cosponsored by, among others, Reps. Dan Crenshaw and Michael McCaul of Texas, Brian Mast of Florida and Elise Stefanik of New York.

THE PRICE FOR DEMOCRATS

The local challenges along the southern border could have some serious repercussions for the Democratic Party.

“As the immigration crisis worsens in South Texas, President Biden’s inconsistent border policies and messaging are not only damaging his approval ratings nationwide, but they could also cost the Democratic Party once-safe seats in Congress,” writes Susan Crabtree, an analyst for Real Clear Politics.

“The Rio Grande Valley is the epicenter of the crisis, and its residents feel the impact of the surge in border crossings every day,” she said, noting that many former Democratic districts are now “trending purple.”

And the numbers: A Dallas Morning News/University of Texas poll found that 54% of the state’s registered Hispanic voters said they disapprove of the job Mr. Biden is doing overall, while 52% said they disapprove of the way he has handled the border crisis.

The survey, incidentally, was conducted Sept. 7-14, before the many thousands of Haitian immigrants encamped in Del Rio became a national and international news story.

POLL DU JOUR

• 79% of U.S. businesses have taken action to encourage employee vaccinations against COVID-19.

• 48% are requiring their employees to be vaccinated.

• 44% are educating employees about vaccination, or assisting their efforts to get vaccinated.

• 26% are providing incentives to encourage employees to be vaccinated.

• 24% are restricting employees who choose not to be vaccinated.

SOURCE: A PNC Financial Services Group survey of 500 small- and medium-sized business owners conducted Aug. 2-31 and released Monday.

• Helpful information to [email protected]

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