- Biden to Nominate Julie Su as Labor Secretary
- House Votes to Block Biden Administration’s ESG Investment Rule
- Former Biden Aide to Provide House Investigators With Details in Classified Documents Case
Biden also exclaimed that “extreme MAGA Republicans are determined to be the party of chaos and catastrophe” during his speech.
Throughout his first major economic address of the year, Biden promoted the “low unemployment rate,” the addition of more manufacturing jobs, and better than anticipated economic growth figures.
The Commerce Department reported on Jan. 26 that the U.S. gross domestic product climbed at a 2.9 percent annualized rate in the fourth quarter of 2022.
The figure was 3.2 percent during the previous quarter, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, yet Biden said that the evidence suggests that “the Biden economic plan” is working.
“Unemployment is the lowest it’s been in 50 years,” Biden said. “We created nearly 11 million jobs, including 750,000 manufacturing jobs. The unemployment rate is near record lowest for black and Hispanic workers and the lowest ever recorded for people with disabilities.”
In his speech, Biden also championed legislation passed in his first two years that support his “promise to build an economy from the bottom up and the middle out,” specifically referencing the American Rescue Plan (ARP), the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act.
He also proclaimed that 230 million Americans are fully vaccinated.
“We have more work to do, but we’re on the right track,” Biden said. “I’ve never been more optimistic about America’s future than I am today, and nothing is beyond our capacity if we work together.”
Biden reiterated his intent to “not leave anyone behind” with his economic strategy and even bashed his own party, referring to “limousine liberals.”
He said that Democrats in the past have left “too many people behind” and treated blue-collar workers like the ones he was raised with in Scranton, Pennsylvania, “like they’re invisible.” That is why many of them now vote for Republicans, Biden added.
“They don’t think we care, we’re not paying attention,” Biden said.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about the U.S. economy at Steamfitters Local 602 in Springfield, Va., on Jan. 26, 2023. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)
House Republicans, Biden exclaimed, are a threat to passing more legislation from his economic plan.
Republicans gained control of the House in January and have introduced ideas that include abolishing the IRS and instituting a 30 percent national sales tax, eliminating the income tax, and abolishing the Internal Revenue Service.
House Republicans are also advocating for HR21, which would ban the energy secretary from tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve without creating a plan to increase oil and gas leasing on federal lands—unless the release is used for a severe oil supply emergency.
“They want to raise your gas prices. They want to cut taxes for billionaires. They want to impose a 30 percent national sales tax,” Biden said. “We’ve got to protect those gains that our policies have generated, protect them from the MAGA Republicans in the House of Representatives who are threatening to destroy this progress.”
Earlier in January, the U.S. government reached its debt limit of almost $31.4 trillion, prompting the Treasury Department to implement “extraordinary measures” to fulfill the government’s obligations.
The White House has said that it will not negotiate on the debt limit.
Many Republican lawmakers have said they will refuse to raise the U.S. debt ceiling, citing the need for action to reduce the national debt and decrease future spending.
For the fourth consecutive year, Washington is forecast to spend more than $6 trillion in the fiscal year 2023.
As Biden started his speech, Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said via Twitter: “If President Biden is so eager to speak on the economy, then he should set a date to discuss a responsible debt ceiling increase. We must finally address Washington’s irresponsible government spending if we want to put America on a better fiscal path.”
Responding to the intentions of some Republicans to not raise the debt ceiling, Biden said, “They’re threatening to have us default on the American debt, the debt that has been accumulated for over 230 years. We’ve never ever done that.
“I have a rhetorical question: Why in God’s name would Americans give up the progress we’ve made for the chaos they’re suggesting? I don’t get it,” Biden continued.
“That’s why the MAGA Republicans are literally choosing to inflict this pain on the American people. Why? I will not let it happen. Not on my watch. I will veto everything they send.”
Biden also simultaneously discussed the environment and corporate tax.
“If you don’t think we have a climate crisis, come travel with me around the country,” Biden said. “We have enormous drought, now we have these super storms in the west. Folks, there is a thing called global warming, and it’s real, but we can do something about it.
“Families are going to save more than $1,000 on tax credits on these [energy efficient] vehicles when they purchase one, and energy-efficient appliances like refrigerators and washing machines, and we’re paying for all of this by finally making sure the biggest corporations just begin to pay a little bit,” Biden added. “The days are over where corporations pay zero in federal taxes.”
House Republicans, Biden continued, want to benefit the wealthy with their proposals.
They want to “cut taxes for billionaires who pay virtually only 3 percent of their income” and “impose a 30 percent national sales tax on everything from food, clothing, school supplies, housing, cars, whole deal,” Biden said.
“This ain’t your father’s Republican Party,” Biden added. “This is a different breed of cat.”
By Jeff Louderback