What Next

How Biden’s Agenda Could Fall Apart

The paranoid, high-stakes fight playing out among congressional Democrats as they try to deliver everything at once.


Episode Notes

Congressional Democrats are struggling to bring together their moderate and progressive factions to pass an infrastructure bill and its gigantic sidecar, a budget plan filled with tax hikes, climate-related legislation, and social spending. With the party divided, is Biden’s agenda about to hit the skids?

Guest: Jim Newell, Slate’s senior politics writer and author of the weekly newsletter the Surge.

If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on What Next. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to help support our work.

Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Davis Land, Danielle Hewitt, Elena Schwartz, and Carmel Delshad.


About the Show

The problem with the news right now? It’s everywhere. And each day, it can feel like we’re all just mindlessly scrolling. It’s why we created What Next. This short daily show is here to help you make sense of things. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for new episodes every weekday morning.

All episodes


  • Mary Harris is the host and managing editor of What Next, Slate's new daily news podcast. She has reported throughout the public radio system, for NPR, Marketplace, and WNYC.