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Biden will reportedly issue two executive actions on police reform, because what else can he do?

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Joe Biden is reportedly preparing two executive actions on police reform that will be timed to coincide with the start of Black History Month in February.

According to CNBC News, the executive actions are still being finalized and will be presented to the public around the same time that Democratic lawmakers reboot the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which previously failed to pass because Republicans favored a compromise bill that Democrats criticized as too weak.

The specific details of the executive actions were not disclosed by the sources who spoke with CNBC. The network reported that Biden will use the rollout of these executive actions to attack former President Donald Trump.

Democratic efforts to revive police reform come after promises made to the party's black voter base were not kept. A push to fight so-called "voter suppression" with a federal overhaul of U.S. elections failed miserably this week after Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Sen Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) each said they would not support any changes to or the elimination of the Senate filibuster.

Months of effort by the president and Democratic leaders to cajole, threaten, and plead with the moderates in their conference were for naught, which leaves the 50-50 Democratic majority stuck in the unenviable position of having to compromise with the minority if they want to pass legislation.

But there is an election in November, which means that instead of compromise, Democrats will introduce several messaging bills that will get the party base excited but ultimately won't go anywhere. The president, meanwhile, will rely on executive actions that will give the appearance of doing something but cannot go too far, else they will be challenged in court and struck down, just like the Biden administration's employer COVID-19 vaccine mandate. The likely result is that any egregious actions taken by Biden will be reversed as soon as the next Republican president assumes office, whenever that may be.

This is all happening because Biden's approval numbers are tanking. A Quinnipiac poll released this week found that only 33% of U.S. adults approve of the president's job performance. Only 24% of independents approve of Biden. Among Hispanics, it's just 28%. The survey results suggest Biden is seen as divisive, Americans disapprove of his handling of the economy (turns out rampant inflation is unpopular), and more people are likely to say things are getting "worse" than "getting better."

Importantly, as CNBC noted, Biden's approval among black voters is at 57%, a significant fall from April, when his numbers with that demographic were at 78%.

If black voters don't turn out to vote for Democrats in the 2022 midterm elections this November, Biden can kiss his threadbare congressional majorities goodbye. And if Republicans control both chambers of Congress, the only significant legislation Biden is likely to sign in the final two years of his first term are the massive spending bills funding the government that everyone except lobbyists hates.

Biden's dream of having an "FDR-size presidency" is impossible if Democrats lose in November. So expect executive actions on police reform and other issues important to Democrats to be rolled out nonstop from here until the end of the year, as Democrats will say and do anything to salvage the wreck of their failed policies.

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