WASHINGTON, Jan 26 (Reuters) – President Joe Biden used a speech at a steam fitters union hall in Virginia on Thursday to launch an attack on Republicans who control the U.S. House of Representatives, saying that some of their proposals are dangerous for the American economy.
In his first major economic speech of the year, Biden promoted his record on the US economy, including the creation of more manufacturing jobs, low unemployment and better-than-expected economic growth numbers. , and expanded on the new policies proposed by some Republicans.
“They want to raise your gas prices. They want to lower taxes on billionaires,” Biden said. “They want to impose a national sales tax of 30%,” he added.
Biden, who is setting the stage for a 2024 reelection bid, told union members in Springfield, Va., that he would veto such bills. “Not on my watch, I will veto anything they send us,” he said.
Republicans took control of the House by a narrow margin in last November’s midterm elections and in the weeks that followed threatened to refuse to raise the US debt ceiling and scheduled investigations into the cabinet and the family of the Democratic president.
“We need to protect these gains that our policies have generated, protect them from the MAGA Republicans in the House of Representatives who are threatening to destroy this progress,” Biden said, using the former president’s “Make American Great” acronym. Donald Trump. Again “slogan.
The House passed a bill to cut the Internal Revenue Service’s budget, and some Republicans are proposing to cut Social Security and Medicare, retirement and health care programs for seniors.
“Do they think it’s going to help fight inflation,” the president said of the proposed tax cut. “What in God’s name is this all about?”
Biden also sued drug companies for making huge profits using federal research and investment incentives and promised to pass legislation extending a $35 cap on insulin to all users. Medicare.
The economy under Biden has been gripped by inflation which is now on the decline, as have fears that a recession is imminent. U.S. gross domestic product grew at an annualized rate of 2.9% in the fourth quarter of last year, beating expectations, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.
As Biden began his speech, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy tweeted, “If President Biden is so eager to talk about the economy, then he should set a date to discuss a responsible increase in the cap. the debt.
“We must finally tackle Washington’s irresponsible government spending if we are to put America on a better fiscal trajectory,” McCarthy wrote.
Biden has previously warned that he would veto Republican proposals that would limit his power to exploit the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, cut corporate taxes and levy a national sales tax if they made it to his office.
Biden’s Democrats control the Senate, and many of the proposals he spoke about on Thursday are unlikely to make it to his office.
The Strategic Petroleum Reserve bill was part of a series of political messaging measures the House passed in its first week in office, and it is seen as having little or no chance of being taken up. by the Senate.
The national sales tax proposal is included in the Fair Tax Act of 2023, introduced Jan. 9 by Republican Rep. Earl “Buddy” Carter of Georgia. It would replace US income, payroll, estate and gift taxes with a 23% sales tax and stop funding the Internal Revenue Service after 2027.
McCarthy said “no” this week when asked by reporters if he supported the bill, which Republicans in Georgia have unsuccessfully introduced since 1999.
Biden also said he would form a new council including the secretaries of Commerce, Labor, Transportation, Treasury, Energy, and Health and Human Services to oversee hundreds of billions of dollars in new infrastructure and manufacturing expenditures approved by Congress over the past two years. .
“It will attract billions of additional dollars of private investment,” Biden predicted.
Reporting by Steve Holland and Nandita Bose; Additional reporting by David Morgan, editing by Heather Timmons, Alistair Bell and Jonathan Oatis
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