Biden tells Democrats to talk about their accomplishments
President Biden urged Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday to talk more about what the party has accomplished in the last two years as he gears up for a reelection bid.
“Folks, you all know how much we’ve gotten done, but a lot of the country still doesn’t know,” he said at the House Democratic Caucus Issues Conference in Baltimore on Wednesday.
Mr. Biden touted the passage of the American Rescue Plan, the infrastructure bill, the CHIPS and Science Act, the PACT Act, the Inflation Reduction Act and the Respect for Marriage Act.
“If we did nothing, nothing but implement what we’ve already passed and let people know who did it for them, we win,” he said. “We’re way beyond that. It’s not just about winning.”
As he highlighted projects funded by the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, he held up a sign for the newly-named Frederick Douglass Tunnel that’s being rebuilt in Baltimore. The sign had “President Joe Biden” printed across the top.
“We’re going to let everybody know you did it,” he said. “These are the signs we’re going to put up.”
Mr. Biden said he’d even appear alongside Republicans in their districts for ribbon-cutting ceremonies.
“The big job in front of us is implementing the laws we passed so people start to see it in their lives, all the benefits that are there because you produced it for them,” he said. “I promised to partner with you and coordinate with you to make sure the implementation of these laws are done efficiently and effectively. And let the American people know who did it as they feel the benefits of the investment. You did it.”
Days before Mr. Biden addressed Democrats in Baltimore, First Lady Jill Biden said there’s “pretty much” nothing left for him to do but pick a time and place to announce his reelection bid.
The president has been traversing the country in recent weeks, touting his administration’s work on infrastructure, semiconductor technology, health care and other key issues.
While on a goodwill trip in Africa last week, the first lady gave perhaps the strongest indication yet that her husband will run for reelection.
“He says he’s not done,” the first lady told the Associated Press in Nairobi. “He’s not finished what he’s started. And that’s what’s important.”
She added: “How many times does he have to say it for you to believe it?”
It was thought that Mr. Biden would likely announce shortly after his Feb. 7 State of the Union address, although winter is quickly slipping into spring in Washington, as evidenced by the cherry blossoms already blooming around the nation’s capital.
The president’s speech to Democrats in Baltimore comes as he continues to struggle with his approval ratings. But those ratings don’t appear to be affected by a U.S. attorney’s investigation and now special counsel investigation into documents marked as classified found at his former private office and Delaware home. His approval rating has hovered at 44%, according to CBS News polls taken before and after CBS News broke the first story on the investigation.
One of the most pressing matters in Washington for the president now is his fight to increase the debt ceiling, something that can only be done with Congressional approval. With mere months to spare before a potentially catastrophic default, Mr. Biden and Republicans need to reach an agreement on how and under what conditions to raise the debt ceiling. The president has repeatedly hammered Republicans for not moving ahead with a clean debt ceiling increase when they increased the debt limit under Trump.
“Let’s remember, the last administration increased the federal debt by 25%,” the president said during a Tuesday speech on health care in Virginia Beach. “A 200-year debt, in four years, they increased it by 25%, 200 years. And folks, how did Congress respond? Well quite frankly, they did the only responsible thing. They paid the debt. They voted three times to keep paying America’s bills, to pay the debt without preconditions, without a crisis. If they paid the American debt then, why in God’s name are they threatening not to pay it now?”