At AMT’s 2021 MFG Meeting and MTForecast Conference, Nov. 2-5, in Denver, Colorado, Larry Sabato will examine the latest political environment in Washington, D.C., and state capitals. He’ll share his observations and predictions on the 2022 Senate, House, and gubernatorial elections, and any new developments in the area of redistricting. Lastly, we can expect him to speculate about the 2024 presidential election. and any new developments in the area of redistricting. Lastly, we can expect him to speculate about the 2024 presidential election.
A longtime participant at both MTForecast and the MFG Meeting, Dr. Larry J. Sabato is a New York Times bestselling author and is recognized as one of the nation’s most respected political analysts. He appears on national and international TV, including CNN, BBC, and CNN International. Sabato is the author or editor of two dozen books on American politics.
We had a chance to sit down just after the infrastructure bill passed the Senate to get his thoughts on the recent political developments.
Q: How do you think President Joe Biden is doing so far in terms of working with a divided Congress?
Sabato: Things have been going well for Biden so far, but bigger challenges await. The infrastructure package – the only real piece of big bipartisan legislation so far – just passed the Senate, and this is a big win for Biden. Biden is definitely a more predictable president, which is good for the political climate. Next up will be the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill, and it is not clear if that will pass. It is a closely divided Congress.
Q: What is your view of the infrastructure bill?
Sabato: I believe this is an issue where both parties have a lot invested and it’s popular. It’s obvious that the U.S. has infrastructure problems that need fixing – bridges that are structurally unsound, highways needing repair, areas in the country that still have little or no broadband, to name just a few.
Q: How is the administration doing in terms of legislation and proposals that will benefit the manufacturing industry?
Sabato: The manufacturing industry should pay attention to the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act of 2021 – it recently passed the Senate with bipartisan support, but the House hasn't voted on it yet.
The Biden administration is continually in trade negotiations, including with the European Union on Trump-administration steel tariffs. It’s possible that some of the tariffs will stick, or possibly take another form, but it’s not clear yet. Biden’s challenge will be to balance being more internationally focused and supportive of international institutions while being pro-worker at home.
The Protecting the Right to Organize Act of 2021, a pro-labor union proposal that passed the House, seems dead in the Senate so long as the filibuster exists, nor is it obvious that all Democrats would back it. The act seems germane to manufacturing. It is possible that the Democrats may put some aspects of the bill in a future bill that they will try to pass via reconciliation.
To better prepare your business for what’s ahead, register to attend AMT’s 2021 MFG Meeting and MTForecast Conference, Nov. 2-5, 2021, in Denver, Colorado. At this unique event, tailored to the manufacturing technology industry, you’ll hear more political insight and gain a deeper understanding of economic, market, and technology trends to help you build a robust business strategy.
Editor’s note: This interview took place before the reconciliation bill was passed, which was discussed in the first answer from Sabato.