Biden Plans to Ring in the New Year on a Caribbean Island

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden chose the U.S. Virgin Islands for their New Year’s celebration after spending Christmas with family at Camp David. The couple is staying at a luxury property owned by friends and Democrat donors Bill and Connie Neville, a tradition they also followed last year.

Despite the break, Biden is expected to use the tropical getaway to recharge before facing a challenging 2024 presidential race. The President carries persistently low job approval ratings, especially for his handling of the economy and inflation, as well as recent criticism for his response to the war in Gaza.

Earlier this week, President Biden directed retaliatory air strikes against an Iranian-backed terror group following a drone attack in Iraq on Christmas morning that targeted U.S. military personnel. The attack injured three U.S. service members, with one in critical condition.

Responding to the attack, Biden instructed the Department of Defense to prepare response options, ultimately deciding on air strikes against three locations used by the terrorists. A statement from National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson reiterated that protecting American personnel is a top priority for the President. The Pentagon confirmed that the airstrikes killed several Kataib Hezbollah militants and destroyed multiple facilities used by the group.

In a related incident, an Israeli airstrike killed a senior Iranian commander, Seyyed Razi Mousavi, in Syria.

The President is also under pressure to prevent the Gaza conflict from escalating into a regional war.

Biden’s job rating has hit an all-time low, with only 34 percent approving of his job performance, according to the most recent Monmouth University poll. Respondents gave poor marks in particular for his handling of immigration and inflation.

Critics blame the President for inflation, accusing him of approving trillions of dollars in wasteful spending, while others are concerned about the handling of the U.S. southern border, with over 12,600 migrants encountered along the U.S.-Mexico border on Dec. 18, setting a single-day record.

In an attempt to address the crisis, senior U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, and White House Homeland Security Adviser Liz Sherwood-Randall, visited Mexico to increase cooperation and drive down border crossings. During the meeting, the U.S. delegation emphasized the need for lawful pathways and additional enforcement actions by partners throughout the region.

Biden is facing various challenges as he prepares to return to the White House after his relaxing New Year’s break. His handling of recent attacks, low poll ratings, and domestic challenges are expected to dominate the agenda going forward.


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