by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Former President Donald Trump’s legal tangles are tripping up President Joe Biden as he embarks on a much-needed political and policy victory lap before November’s midterm elections.
But with Trump’s resurgence in popularity among Republicans after the FBI searched and seized materials this week from his Mar-a-Lago home and office in Florida, the GOP’s reaction simultaneously offers Democrats another talking point for the fall fights.
Republicans, including party strategist Evan Siegfried, acknowledge Biden’s successes from “a purely objective legislative standpoint” close to the 2022 midterm election cycle. But he amplified the problem of delayed gratification for voters, particularly with the president’s climate and healthcare spending bill’s prescription drug pricing provisions.
“People still will be voting their pocketbooks,” Siegfried told the Washington Examiner. “Unless there can be a drastic change to the cost of living and people see their grocery bills start to fall again, and their gas prices fall, and other things that are tangible that you see at the end of every month in your bank statements, Biden is still in trouble economically.”
Biden’s signing of the bipartisan $280 billion Chips and Science Act and Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act for veterans this week before the House reconvenes Friday to consider the Senate-passed $700 billion Inflation Reduction Act also coincided with Wednesday’s inflation data. Consumer prices rose by 8.5% in the 12 months ending in July, a relief compared to June’s 9.1% hike, according to the Labor Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.
All three developments unfolded as more details emerged about the Mar-a-Lago search, a federal appeals court ruled the House Ways and Means Committee may obtain Trump’s tax returns from the IRS for its congressional investigation, and Trump pleaded the Fifth Amendment’s protection against self-incrimination during a New York Attorney General’s Office deposition for its civil fraud probe.