President Biden and his team on Friday marked two years since he was sworn into office, highlighting economic gains and bipartisan achievements that will likely form the backbone of a potential reelection bid.
“When I came into office, we had a lot of problems,” Biden told a gathering of bipartisan mayors at the White House. “The pandemic was raging. Our economy was reeling, but we acted together. Now, two years in, it’s clearer than ever our plan is working.”
The president gave a wide-ranging speech in which he pointed to infrastructure investments, the signing of the Inflation Reduction Act last year to combat climate change, the passage of the CHIPS bill to shore up domestic semiconductor supply chains, and his administration’s focus on increasing job opportunities for Americans without four-year college degrees.
Biden’s remarks were part of a multipronged effort by the White House to highlight accomplishments from the administration’s first two years.
A “cheat sheet” circulated by communications director Kate Bedingfield cited job creation, increased global leadership, judicial confirmations and bipartisan legislation on gun safety, infrastructure, and semiconductor manufacturing as major accomplishments.
Bedingfield contrasted those high points with Republican calls for bans on abortion and putting programs like Medicare and Social Security on the chopping block.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre displayed a graphic during Friday’s briefing that noted the U.S. has added 11 million jobs since Biden took office, including 750,000 manufacturing jobs.
Both Biden and Vice President Harris tweeted multiple times about the two-year anniversary on Friday, and former President Obama also weighed in to praise the work of the administration since January 2021.
“I’m grateful for all that President Biden and Vice President Harris have done for the American people. And I know they’re just getting started,” Obama wrote on Twitter.
The achievements highlighted by various officials are likely to be a key part of Biden’s argument for a second term if he runs for reelection, which he is expected to announce later this year.
Biden and his team have spent much of the first month of the year highlighting the president’s legislative accomplishments from his first two years, which will start to take effect this calendar year. Some of the provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act, such as capping certain drug prices for those on Medicare, took effect this month, and more projects funded by the bipartisan infrastructure law will break ground this year.
With a divided Congress unlikely to pass more of Biden’s priorities, those pieces of legislation and the state of the economy will likely be central to the president’s reelection argument.
“For the last two years since my inauguration I think we’ve made some progress, in large part because of many of you sitting in this room,” Biden said Friday. “And I’m really optimistic in the year ahead that we’re implementing the laws we’ve already passed that will deliver real benefits, and people are going to feel them in their everyday lives.”
Republicans, meanwhile, pushed back on the rosy picture painted by many Democrats about Biden’s first two years in office. They argued gas prices are higher than when Biden took office, inflation more broadly has led to increased costs for many Americans, and immigration is a pressing issue that Biden has failed to control
“After two years of Joe Biden, American workers are seeing their paychecks shrink, and families are paying more for gas and groceries,” Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement. “The border remains wide open while violent crime and drugs continue to pour into our neighborhoods. Americans are paying the price for Biden’s failed policies.”
Source: The Hill