Biden returns to world stage after midterm election

After Tuesday’s midterm elections, President Biden is turning his attention abroad.

Before all the ballots are counted, Biden will begin a seven-day diplomatic tour of Egypt, Cambodia and Indonesia to attend four world summits and navigate an array of foreign policy priorities.

But if Democrats end up losing control of the House of Representatives or the Senate, that outcome could weaken Biden’s hand with foreign leaders as he grapples with diplomatic challenges over climate change, Ukraine and China.

“The president will be asking countries to make tough choices – whether that means advancing climate goals or moving supply chains away from their reliance on Chinese companies,” said Kori Schake, foreign policy expert at the American Enterprise Institute who served on President George W. Bush. National Security Council. “It will be much harder to persuade other countries … if people doubt that President Biden can persuade the United States Congress to do difficult things.”

Biden’s itinerary includes a short stop Friday in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, where he will attend the United Nations climate conference to assert American credibility on climate change. He will then travel to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to attend the Assn. from the summit of Southeast Asian nations before arriving in Bali, Indonesia for the Group of 20 summit, an annual gathering of leaders from the world’s largest economies.

The high-profile event puts Biden in the same room as Chinese President Xi Jinping, who tightened his grip on power after winning a third term as head of the Communist Party of China in September, and potentially Russian President Vladimir Putin. who is expected to visit Bali more than eight months after his forces invaded Ukraine.

Past presidents have also turned to foreign policy following midterm elections. President Obama made a similar 10-day trip to the region to attend a series of Asia-focused summits in 2010, when Democrats lost 63 House seats and party control of the chamber. Three days after Republicans lost their House majority in the 2018 midterm elections, President Trump flew to France to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

President Clinton, who oversaw the 1994 loss of Democratic control of Congress, marked foreign policy by brokering peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Northern Ireland and helping to expand the United Nations Treaty Organization. ‘North Atlantic.

“The world stage is a great place for the president because it’s an area where he has more control than when it comes to domestic politics, where he needs Congress to pass things,” Tevi said. Troy, presidential historian and head of the president. leadership initiative at the Bipartisan Policy Center. “He’s a good pivot for a president.”

But even Biden’s foreign policy crowning glory — reinvigorating the NATO alliance in the wake of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine — is under threat as House Republicans float the idea of ​​cutting the foreign aid to Kyiv. Part of Biden’s challenge will be convincing European allies to continue supporting Ukraine amid a deepening energy crisis and food shortages, exacerbated by high inflation.

White House officials and advisers say significant Democratic losses on Tuesday would not be a rejection of Biden’s policies but rather consistent with historical trends. Since 1934, the president’s party has lost an average of 28 House seats and four Senate seats in all midterm elections, according to the American Presidency Project at UC Santa Barbara.

Democrats appeared to defy expectations of a “red wave” in some key House races on Tuesday, including in Virginia’s 7th District, where Democratic incumbent Abigail Spanberger fended off a Trump-endorsed Republican challenger. But Congressional scrutiny remained unclear late Tuesday night, with close races across the country too close to be called.

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