Biden to starkly contrast his economic plan with GOP as shutdown looms


U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about the August U.S. jobs and employment report numbers in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, September 1, 2023.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will deliver a speech Thursday contrasting his “Bidenomics” domestic policies with what the White House has dubbed “MAGAnomics,” a reference in a speech Thursday as the two sides continue to spar over the budget with a potential government shutdown on the horizon.

The economic address comes in the midst of a budget showdown in Congress where hardline Republicans in the House of Representatives are demanding cuts too big to pass the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Congress has just over two weeks to pass the twelve appropriations bills and get Biden’s signature. Failure to do so by Sept. 30 would result in a government shutdown leading to furloughed workers, agencies closed and many essential programs placed in peril. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Wednesday criticized congressional Republicans for not reaching an agreement.

“The shutdown should not happen,” Jean-Pierre said. “That’s Congress’s job: To avoid a shutdown.”

It’s the second spending standoff this year. House Republicans in the spring refused to lift the debt ceiling without cost cutting concessions. The issue now is the hardline House Freedom Caucus is looking to cut spending for the fiscal year 2024 to $1.47 trillion, or about $120 billion under what Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy agreed to earlier this year.

“We’ve already agreed,” Jean-Pierre said. “There was a bipartisan agreement on how to move forward with the budget that they voted on. A deal is a deal. They should keep their word and they should keep the government open.”

The MAGAnomics vision to be outlined by Biden is based off of the budget released in June by the Republican Study Committee, White House senior advisor Anita Dunn wrote in a memo ahead of the president’s speech. The core tenets of the Republican plan that the administration is attacking are cutting taxes for the wealthiest Americans and corporations, making cuts to social safety net programs like Social Security and Medicare and eliminating Medicare’s ability to negotiate drug prices as well as the cap on insulin.

“While the Senate is advancing bipartisan bills in line with the budget deal the president negotiated with Speaker McCarthy in June, House Republicans have chosen a very different path — putting forward a series of reckless, partisan bills that would gut programs millions of hardworking families count on,” Dunn wrote.

Biden in his speech will argue how many of the provisions are unpopular with everyday Americans.

“House Republicans have understandably been reluctant to tout the MAGAnomics budget — but the White House is going to spend much of this fall doing it for them,” Dunn wrote. “[Biden] will use today’s speech to hold House Republicans accountable for the full MAGAnomics agenda and contrast MAGAnomics with his economic vision.”



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