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Biden Goes Bipartisan by Courting GOP Voters, Not Just Lawmakers

To pass Build Back Better, he’ll have to convince some Republicans in Congress that it’s what their constituents want.



Photographer: Oliver Contreras/The New York Times/Bloomberg

In Washington there are three kinds of victories. Moral victories, where you lose but make a point. Pyrrhic victories, where you win but suffer greatly for it. And what you might call momentum victories, where success opens the way to more success. Those, of course, are the best.

The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan that President Biden signed on March 11 looks like a momentum victory. Polls show it’s popular with Republican voters as well as Democrats. Coming early in Biden’s term, it marks him as a doer and a force to be reckoned with. Now Biden will try to ride that momentum to passage of his next big legislative priority, Build Back Better, a vast initiative that’s likely to include funding for infrastructure, green investment, manufacturing, support for caregivers, and racial justice.