Los Angeles Times

Biden urges Democrats to tout legislativ­e victories

Too many voters don’t know about inflation act and other laws, president says.

- By Nolan D. McCaskill

WASHINGTON — President Biden on Wednesday touted his party’s legislativ­e success in the first two years of his administra­tion and urged House Democrats to spend the next two years making sure voters are aware of it too.

As the keynote speaker on the opening day of House Democrats’ annual issues conference in Baltimore, the president ticked through a list of accomplish­ments in the first half of his term: passage of the American Rescue Plan, Inflation Reduction Act, bipartisan infrastruc­ture law, Chips and Science Act, a narrow gun safety bill and marriage equality.

In addition, he pointed to a 3.4% unemployme­nt rate, 12 million new jobs, seven months of falling inflation, a significan­t drop in gasoline prices from its pandemic peak and an economy that has steadily grown.

“Folks, you all know how much we’ve gotten done, but a lot of the country still doesn’t know it,” Biden said. “That’s why the big job in front of us is implementi­ng the laws we’ve passed so people start to see it in their lives — all the benefits that are there because you produced it for them. You stepped up and got it done.”

Biden stressed that there’s more to do, including passing police reform, immigratio­n reform, voting rights legislatio­n, codifying a woman’s right to choose whether to have an abortion, banning assault weapons and highcapaci­ty magazines, and rewriting the tax code — all unlikely to go anywhere with Republican­s controllin­g the House and Democrats running the Senate.

“Look, I know as well as you the MAGA Republican­s are not going to get on board for most of these things, but that leaves a lot of Republican­s that are still left,” Biden said.

House Republican­s, however, are instead focusing on their own legislativ­e priorities and using their new committee gavels to launch investigat­ions into the administra­tion.

One issue House Republican­s must eventually work with Democrats on is raising the debt limit to avoid a U.S. default on its debt. Biden, who met with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfiel­d) at the White House this year to discuss the debt limit, has challenged Republican­s to show him exactly where they want to make spending cuts to reduce the deficit.

Biden, who is set to release his annual budget proposal next week, said it will reduce the deficit by $2 trillion over the next decade.

He criticized Republican­s for playing politics with the nation’s credit rating, particular­ly after voting three times to raise the debt limit during the Trump administra­tion without demanding spending cuts.

“We’re not going to sit here and be lectured by those folks about fiscal responsibi­lity. Nearly 25% of the entire national debt ... was added by my predecesso­r in four years,” Biden said. “They’re sure not acting like the party that cares about fiscal responsibi­lity.”

McCarthy has said that he won’t raise taxes to reduce the deficit and that Medicare and Social Security cuts, which some Republican­s have threatened, are also off the table.

“During the State of the Union I was pleased to see so many Republican­s stand up when I asked them to join us in rejecting cuts to Social Security,” Biden said.

“I’ve been to a lot of State of the Unions and never quite saw one like that. But they all stood up. The interestin­g thing is they won’t be able to forget — it’s all on camera.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States