Mon. Jan 30th, 2023

As it tries to reverse Joe Biden’s sinking poll numbers and make a case for voters to support Democratic candidates in November’s midterm elections,  will frame the president’s recent string of accomplishments as a victory over special interest groups.


What You Need To Know

  • As it tries to reverse Joe Biden’s sinking poll numbers and make a case for voters to support Democratic candidates in November’s midterm elections, the White House will frame the president’s recent string of accomplishments as a victory over special interest groups
  • Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and Cabinet members will soon travel the country to tout a bill passed by the Senate last weekend and expected to clear the House that would lower the cost of prescription drugs, expand the Affordable Care Act, invest billions in combatting climate change and impose a 15% minimum tax on corporations, senior White House officials said Thursday
  • In addition, officials will point to bills Biden signed to improve the country’s infrastructure, reform gun laws and boost domestic computer chip manufacturing while also boasting about a healthy jobs market and the president’s efforts to lower gas prices and stem inflation

Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and Cabinet members will soon travel the country to tout a bill passed by the Senate last weekend and expected to clear the House that would lower the cost of prescription drugs, expand the Affordable Care Act, invest billions in combatting climate change and impose a 15% minimum tax on corporations, senior White House officials said Thursday.

In addition, officials will point to bills Biden signed to improve the country’s infrastructure, reform gun laws and boost domestic computer chip manufacturing while also boasting about a healthy jobs market and the president’s efforts to lower gas prices and stem inflation.

White House officials said, by focusing on special interest groups, they hope they will draw a clear contrast between Democrats and Republicans.

“There’s been an enormous frustration for years and decades among the American people that when it comes to what happens in Washington, the special interests always prevail and the American people don’t,” a senior White House official said during a call with reporters Thursday. “We think in these past few weeks and months, people are seeing a very different outcome. Under the president’s leadership, those tables have been turned.”

The Senate passed the $740 billion tax, climate and health care bill, dubbed the “Inflation Reduction Act,” without any GOP support. Republicans have blasted the legislation as excessive spending that would actually worsen inflation. While the package would not raise taxes on those earning less than $400,000 a year, congressional Republicans have argued tax hikes on businesses would result in lower wages for employees. They also say a provision allocating $80 billion to the IRS over 10 years — more than half of which would be spent on catching and preventing high-end tax evasion — would result in an “army” of new auditors targeting middle-class Americans, a claim fact-checkers have deemed misleading.

In addition to painting a picture of the GOP bending to the gun lobby, pharmaceutical industry and corporations seeking to pay little or no federal taxes, the Biden administration says it will argue that Republicans would try to cut Medicare and Social Security, repeal the Affordable Care Act and pass a national abortion ban if they win back control of Congress. 

“There is a real contrast here, and that contrast will be in front of the country this fall,” the senior White House official said.

Asked about whether the messaging might include attacks on former President Donald Trump, a different senior White House official said Biden has never shied away from criticizing his predecessor but that his administration will be “laser focused on the things that we’ve done to make progress in people’s lives.”

The White House messaging won’t strictly be a partisan attack, according to the first official, because Biden and his Cabinet will say there was a “remarkable degree of bipartisan legislation passed.” Bills on infrastructure, gun reform, semiconductors and veterans health care all received Republican votes.

Biden has been struggling to satisfy the voters. In July, his approval rating was 38%, according to Gallup.

Meanwhile, Democrats are trying to defy history by clinging to control of the House and Senate. The party in power generally struggles in the first midterms after a presidential election.

The top issue Republicans are attacking Biden on is inflation. For example, when Biden said Wednesday that the economy experienced “zero percent inflation” from June to July, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell released a statement saying, “Only these reckless Washington Democrats could see another month of crushing 8.5% inflation and try to spin it as a win for themselves. Prices keep skyrocketing upward at historic rates.”

Wednesday’s report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics said consumer prices in July were up 8.5% from a year earlier, but had fallen from June’s 9.1% rate.

Biden acknowledged Wednesday his administration still has “work to do” on lowering prices, but added, “We’re on track.”

The White House official said Thursday that inflation “is a worldwide problem as we come out of the pandemic, but I think we have a pretty good case that America is in a stronger position than any country and … moving in the right direction.”



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