SPRINGFIELD, Va. — President Joe Biden touted the progress of his administration’s economic plan and condemned GOP policies, namely House Republicans’ Fair Tax Act proposal, in an address to union workers in Springfield, Virginia, on Thursday.
During his first major economic speech of the year, Biden highlighted the creation of 11 million jobs, record low unemployment numbers and legislative accomplishments such as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
The President also announced the “Invest in America ” Cabinet made up of cabinet secretaries and senior advisors to implement his economic agenda.
He attacked House Republicans for their economic proposals such as the Fair Tax Act. The bill, introduced by Rep. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-Ga.), would replace different types of federal taxes with a 23% national sales tax by 2025, and erase IRS funding after 2027.
Biden called out Republican supporters of the bill, saying they “seem determined to be the party of chaos and catastrophe.”
He joined other Democratic leaders in railing against this economic legislation in recent days. During a Wednesday press conference, Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House minority leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) vowed to do everything in their power to stop the legislation.
“The so-called fair tax is another example of the extremist agenda that Republicans are trying to jam down the throats of the American people,” Jeffries said.
House Republicans appear divided on this proposal. Speaker Kevin McCarthy told reporters on Tuesday that he opposes the Fair Tax Act.
This discussion comes amidst a brewing fight over the debt ceiling. Republican leaders have said they will not vote to raise the debt ceiling without imposing fiscal controls, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) called the debt ceiling “the most effective lever point to force meaningful concessions” in a Tuesday press conference.
The President rejected the prospect of engaging in debt ceiling negotiations during his remarks, saying he “won’t let anyone use the full faith and credit of [the] U.S. as a bargaining chip.”
Biden’s remarks came on the heels of the latest batch of GDP numbers released Thursday morning. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the U.S. economy experienced a 2.9% annualized growth rate in the fourth quarter of last year. The President said these numbers “couldn’t have been any better.”
Biden, who has long lauded himself as “the most pro-union president you’ve ever seen,” addressed a crowd of union workers and labor leaders Thursday. He has recently seen a crack in his relationship with union workers after signing legislation to halt a national rail shutdown and press a deal on union workers in December.
“Wall street didn’t build America, the middle class built America and unions built the middle class,” Biden told the crowd. “You’re the backbone of this country.”
Ahead of his State of the Union address on Feb. 7, Biden is scheduled to make a series of appearances as he gears up for an expected re-election announcement. The President is headed to Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania next week to discuss the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and his economic agenda.