Biden Seeks Shift in How the Nation Serves Its People

For their part, Democrats welcomed Mr. Biden’s go-big approach, which stood in contrast to the more incremental or centrist efforts ultimately advanced since the conservative backlash to the Johnson era by all of his party’s subsequent presidents, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

“We want to invest in our work force, so, as we build back better, we have a trained work force, many more people able to participate from every aspect of our society, that what we’re doing in terms of children and seniors and care for them, that many more women can participate in the fullest way,” Ms. Pelosi told Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC.

But as aggressive as Mr. Biden’s programs were, he faced pressure from the left within his own party to go further. Some liberals, for instance, were disappointed that he pulled out a plan to negotiate prescription drug prices amid industry opposition.

“In general, I think we are going to say we agree with everything that is in the president’s plan,” Representative Pramila Jayapal, Democrat of Washington State and the chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said on MSNBC. “But we need more, and there’s a couple of areas where we really think they’ve been excluded, and they need to be included.”

Mr. Biden arrives at his 100-day mark on Thursday with solid if not spectacular approval ratings, with about 52 percent of the public favoring his performance — higher than Mr. Trump received at any point in his presidency in the main opinion polls but below nearly all modern presidents at this stage of their tenure.

That underlined the political challenges for Mr. Biden in building a broader consensus behind his agenda at a time when political divisions remain as acute as they have been in years. Sensitive to that, Mr. Biden made a special point to reassure working-class Americans, many of whom supported Mr. Trump, that his plans would benefit them by creating new jobs.

“These are good-paying jobs that can’t be outsourced,” he planned to say in the speech. “Nearly 90 percent of the infrastructure jobs created in the American Jobs Plan don’t require a college degree. Seventy-five percent don’t require an associate’s degree. The Americans Jobs Plan is a blue-collar blueprint to build America.”

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