Building Back Better Without The Senate

Summary of Memo

Joe Biden won the Presidential election with a mandate to restore America’s promise and Build Back Better from our current crises. And while the Democrats have maintained a majority in the House, it is not yet clear whether Democrats will control the Senate. While the Biden administration will have more tools available if it is able to work productively with Congress, New Consensus shows in its new memo that Biden can achieve most of his “Build Back Better” agenda even without a cooperative Senate in order to keep the promises he made to the American people. In the same way that Presidents Bush and Obama collaborated with the Federal Reserve to lend out between $7 trillion and $29 trillion to banks during the 2008 financial recession, Biden could work with the current Federal Reserve to make trillions in low-interest loans directly to productive businesses and projects. In order to keep this money from being used simply on speculative trading or stock buybacks, the plan suggests creating a National Development Council that would be tasked with defining what these productive investments are by turning Biden’s Build Back Better plan into an executable national economic development strategy. And to ensure that these investments are based on real needs in local economies, the plan recommends returning the Federal Reserve to its initial mission of developing the American economy by empowering regional Federal Reserve Banks to invest in their local economies.

Simply by following well established precedent, President Biden could, for example, direct funding towards ensuring that PPE factories are producing what we need and that new mask factories get built. He could invest in the auto industry to help them convert to 100% electric cars while building the electric charging infrastructure to make owning an electric car the obvious choice for all. He could upgrade millions of homes to be more energy efficient. He could make sure small businesses in every single Congressional district throughout the country get access to the capital they need to thrive. He can restore the United States as an advanced manufacturing superpower and he could make sure America is leading the world in the development of the next generation of technology in everything from energy to Artificial Intelligence. If President Biden is able to rise to this moment, he can create millions of good, high-wage jobs in every community across the country, bringing this country out of the current economic depression to be better and stronger than ever before -- and he doesn’t need the Senate to do it.

President-elect Biden has talked about being the FDR of our generation. Like FDR, Biden has been tasked with leading a nation in crisis. Like FDR, Biden is inheriting a nation that appears weakened and divided. And also like FDR, President-elect Biden has the tools at his disposal to prove that America is capable of accomplishing greatness and leading the world in a positive direction.

Read the full memo.

Read how this works with Senate cooperation.

Published: November 18, 2020