The Macomb Daily

Biden touts economy, infrastruc­ture; may offer 2024 preview

- By Will Weissert and Chris Megerian

President Joe Biden hasn’t announced a reelection campaign, but some of the themes likely to be the centerpiec­e of that expected run should be on display Friday night when he addresses a national Democratic Party meeting.

The president plans to focus on his administra­tion’s accomplish­ments creating jobs and stimulatin­g domestic manufactur­ing as he and Vice President Kamala Harris speak at a Democratic National Committee gathering in Philadelph­ia.

“I would argue the Biden economic plan is working,” Biden said before flying to Philadelph­ia, reacting to a new jobs report showing that employers created a net 517,000 jobs last month, exceeding economists’ expectatio­ns. He called the tally “strikingly good news.”

Prior to their evening speeches, Biden and Harris visited a water treatment plant and celebrated $15 billion in funding to remove lead pipes from service lines around the country, including in Philadelph­ia. That comes from a bipartisan infrastruc­ture package Congress passed in 2021, which is also bankrollin­g railway projects the president spent this week trumpeting.

“The issue has to do with basic dignity,” Biden said. “No amount of lead in water is safe. None.”

With the State of the Union address coming next week, Biden has renewed calls for political unity, something he’s acknowledg­ed being unable to achieve despite his promises to do so as a candidate in 2020. But those appeals haven’t tempered Biden’s broadsides against his predecesso­r, Donald Trump, and the Republican Party’s continued fealty to the former president’s “Make America Great Again” movement.

“Look, this is not your father’s Republican Party,” the president said this week at a separate DNC fundraiser in New York. “This is a different breed of cat.”

The president is facing increasing pressure in Washington, where a special counsel is investigat­ing how classified documents turned up in his home and a former office, and a Republican-controlled House is investigat­ing everything from the administra­tion’s immigratio­n procedures at the U.S.-Mexico border to the overseas ties of the president’s son Hunter.

That’s made some top Democrats anxious to see Biden stay on the political offensive.

“The president is trying to solve the problems of the nation on infrastruc­ture, on microchips, on gun safety, on health care, and I think he’s going to talk about doing that,” said Randi Weingarten, a DNC member and president of the American Federation of Teachers. “And then also compare (that) to the GOP, which seems to be on a revenge agenda.”

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