The US president travels to Michigan to sell his infrastructure and social proposals to the American public.
Facing a deadlock in Congress, US President Joe Biden traveled to the state of Michigan on Tuesday to sell his ambitious social spending and infrastructure proposals directly to the American public.
Biden’s signature $3.5 trillion spending and tax proposal and a $1 trillion infrastructure bill have hit roadblocks on Capitol Hill as members of the president’s Democratic Party have been unable to agree on the size and scope of his proposals.
“These bills are about competitiveness versus complacency. They’re about opportunity versus decay,” Biden said during a speech at a union training center in Howell, Michigan, on Tuesday afternoon.
“Supporting these investments is supporting a rise in America — Americans on the move,” Biden said. “If you resist these investments, you are complicit in America’s decline.”
With polls showing a slide in his approval ratings, Biden faces a critical moment during his presidency — and if he fails to pass both bills, his agenda could stall for the rest of his four-year term.
Biden tried to defend his spending plans, saying the investments would help support working-class families and make the US more competitive globally. Michigan automakers bet on a significant shift towards electric vehicles – something that would help boost both bills.
“Here in Michigan, we need to make sure that American auto workers are the world leaders in electric vehicles,” Biden said Tuesday along with Representative Elissa Slotkin, whose congressional district the president visited.
Slotkin is one of the leading Democrats who have urged Biden to promote his proposals more forcefully to the American public.
Biden needs moderates in Congress to go along with his expensive spending plans. A key moderate, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, has proposed to roll back the proposed 10-year budget plan from $3.5 trillion to $1.5 trillion.
White House spokesman Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters traveling with the president that Biden and Democrats are considering what is known as resource testing — or applying income limits to eligibility — to lower the costs of the proposed programs. Those programs include universal pre-kindergarten education and two free years of community college.
Back in Washington, DC, negotiations continue between White House officials and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate to find a way forward to pass both bills.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the House’s top Democrat, is unable to gain support to approve the $1 trillion infrastructure bill of a major faction of progressives until a deal is reached on the larger $3.5 trillion budget package blocked by Manchin in the Senate.
Biden has held meetings at the White House with small groups of lawmakers.
He met with leading progressive lawmakers Monday, including Representative Pramila Jayapal, who chairs the House progressive caucus, while Biden met with House moderates on Tuesday before leaving for Michigan.