President Biden to Target House Republicans, Champion Achievements in Major Economic Speech

By Andrew Moran
Andrew Moran
Andrew Moran
Andrew Moran has been writing about business, economics, and finance for more than a decade. He is the author of "The War on Cash."
January 26, 2023Updated: January 26, 2023

President Joe Biden will visit Virginia on Thursday to deliver a major speech on the economy and target House Republicans by describing their policy proposals as “the biggest threat” to the U.S. economy, White House officials say.

Since the GOP secured a slim majority in the House of Representatives in November, the party has introduced various ideas that the administration has slammed as benefiting the rich, including a 30 percent national sales tax, abolishing the income tax, and eliminating the Internal Revenue Service.

In response to their policy endeavors, the president has repeatedly referred to them as “MAGA Republicans,” a reference to former President Donald Trump’s slogan of “Make America Great Again.”

Experts think Biden is laying the groundwork for his 2024 reelection bid. He will stop at the steamfitters’ union hall in Springfield, Virginia, and highlight some of his administration’s economic progress and achievements.

According to the White House, Biden will also announce an “Invest in America” Cabinet that will consist of John Podesta, Mitch Landrieu, an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administration, and Secretaries of Commerce, Energy, Health and Human Services, Labor Transportation, and Treasury.

“The President is charging the Invest in America Cabinet with ensuring that his economic plan is generating private sector investment and continues to drive our economic progress for years ahead,” the official said.

The president is expected to tout 750,000 new manufacturing jobs, a 50-year low unemployment rate, 11 million new jobs, a record number of small-business applications, and a slowing annual inflation rate. Biden will also champion various legislative pursuits over the last two years that support his “promise to build an economy from the bottom up and the middle out,” such as the American Rescue Plan (ARP), the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act.

“The president will outline the biggest threat to our economic progress: the House Republicans’ MAGA Economic Plan, [which] will raise taxes on working families with a 30 percent national sales tax, make gas prices more expensive, worsen inflation, and cut Social Security and Medicare,” a White House official said.

In recent weeks, Biden has defined the House GOP’s economic plans “as bad for working families,” while his administration’s efforts have been “laying the foundation for strong and stable growth.”

During a meeting with Democratic lawmakers at the White House on Tuesday, Biden promised he would not allow “the Republicans wreck our economy.”

“I love their 30 percent sales tax,” Biden said. “We want to talk a lot about that, but, look, I have no intention of letting the Republicans wreck our economy, nor does anybody around this table, in my view.”

The speech could be an opportunity to lift Americans’ optimism.

According to the latest WalletHub Economic Index, consumers are 13 percent less confident about their financial outlook compared to the same time a year ago. This represented the second-largest year-over-year decline in the last 12 months, with more people citing growing stress, weaker job security, and a falling housing market.

In addition, the same personal-finance group found that two in three Americans think inflation is going to be worse in 2023 than in 2022, while close to 90 percent concede that inflation will affect their spending this year.

However, Biden might also point to the second straight quarterly expansion in the gross domestic product (GDP). In the fourth quarter, the U.S. GDP growth rate rose was 2.9 percent, down from 3.2 percent in the third quarter, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)—but this was better than market estimates of 2.6 percent.

Republicans on Offense

Critics charge that President Biden’s economic plan has devastated American families nationwide, with real wage growth (inflation-adjusted) negative every month for nearly two years, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data show.

Republicans have also targeted the president’s labor record. The national economy added approximately 4.6 million jobs in 2022, but some officials have questioned the data’s veracity.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia recently published a report that accused the BLS of overcounting employment gains from March to June by as much as 1.1 million.

This caught the attention of Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), who requested the BLS to respond to some questions he had in writing regarding the latest labor data.

“Senator Scott is demanding full accountability from the Biden administration, including the Bureau of Labor Statistics, to ensure the American people are receiving the accurate reports they deserve,” McKinley Lewis, communications director for Sen. Rick Scott, told The Epoch Times.

“The senator and his team continue to be in contact with the BLS, and Senator Scott will not stop until his questions regarding the job number discrepancies are answered. Recently, Senator Scott’s office had a call with BLS regarding the senator’s letter, during which additional questions were raised. Senator Scott is currently awaiting written response to questions raised during the discussion, as well as answers to the issues presented in his initial letter.”

Meanwhile, the next key issue on Capitol Hill is the debt ceiling.

Earlier this month, the U.S. government reached its debt limit of nearly $31.4 trillion, forcing the Treasury Department to employ “extraordinary measures” to cover the government’s obligations.

The White House has insisted that it will not negotiate on the debt limit. Republicans have acknowledged that they will not agree to a “clean” increase, noting that they want greater action on the national debt and future spending levels.

Washington is forecast to spend more than $6 trillion in the fiscal year 2023 for the fourth consecutive year.

Despite pushback by the GOP, many right-leaning organizations and economic experts have urged the Republicans to support raising or suspending the debt ceiling.

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