President Biden is set to seize the spotlight this week after weeks of attention on former President Donald J. Trump’s impeachment trial. Mr. Biden is beginning a more public sales pitch for his domestic agenda, with his first set of work trips outside Washington.
The president plans to fly to Milwaukee on Tuesday to participate in a CNN town hall, where he will most likely outline specifics of his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan, including sending $1,400 checks to individuals who meet certain income thresholds. On Thursday, Mr. Biden will travel to Kalamazoo, Mich., to tour a Pfizer manufacturing site and meet workers producing the coronavirus vaccine.
The travel is the president’s first time leaving Washington for work since Inauguration Day. The White House has been balancing safety precautions with the need to sell an ambitious agenda to constituents across the country.
Presidential travel is expensive and time consuming, and brings some risk during a pandemic. But it is also considered essential to the job. So far, Mr. Biden has left the city only to spend a weekend at his former home in Wilmington, Del., and for a visit to Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland.
The president also appeared to be making use of a week when Congress was out of session to build support for the relief plan he is pushing them to pass after they return on Monday.
International travel, however, will have to wait.
On Friday, Mr. Biden is scheduled to join other world leaders in a virtual Group of 7 summit to discuss the pandemic and the global economy. Mr. Biden has by now already talked with most world leaders by phone, including a two-hour call with President Xi Jinping of China last week.
Mr. Biden has longstanding relationships with many foreign leaders, like Mr. Xi, and in many cases those calls have meant an immediate return to the personal rapport that existed before Mr. Trump’s presidency. But the limitations on in-person international gatherings will put off a key test of whether the United States can regain its traditional role in world affairs after the erratic and isolating “America First” approach of Mr. Trump.
Source: NYT > U.S. > Politics