President Joe Biden visited an expanding semiconductor maker in North Carolina on Tuesday as he launches an effort to highlight the impact that legislation passed earlier in his administration is having on the U.S. economy and pits his view against that Republicans on budget priorities.
Biden’s trip to Wolfspeed follows the Durham-based company’s announcement last September of plans to build a $5 billion manufacturing plant in Chatham County that is expected to create 1,800 new jobs. Biden had secured passage last July from a Legislative package of 280 billion dollars known as the CHIPS Act, which was intended to stimulate the American semiconductor industry and scientific research.
It is not new for the Biden administration to push forward the CHIPS Act, the $1.9 trillion COVID relief billthe trillion dollars infrastructure legislation and about A $375 billion climate bill — major legislation the Democratic administration enacted before Democrats lost control of the House.
But now, just weeks after Biden’s unveiling own budget — it includes $2.6 trillion in new spending — his administration is looking for opportunities to lean into its battle with Republicans over spending priorities and who has better ideas for handling the U.S. economy in the years ahead. Republicans have rejected Biden’s budget but have yet to unveil their own counter-offer to the Democrats’ plan, which revolves around tax hikes on the wealthy and some sort of vision statement for Biden’s yet-to-be-declared campaign for re-election in 2024.
The White House says Biden in North Carolina will point out that his legislative efforts have spurred $435 billion in private sector manufacturing commitments since he took office. This includes more than $200 billion in investments in clean energy, electric vehicles and batteries, more than $200 billion in semiconductors and around $15 billion in investments in biomanufacturing, according to the House. White.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden wanted to demonstrate “what’s at stake if MAGA Republicans in Congress get what they want and repeal the Tax Reduction Act. inflation, raise taxes on hard-working families, and cut funding for manufacturing innovation and research.”
In addition to Biden’s visit to Wolfspeed, Vice President Kamala Harris, First Lady Jill Biden and other senior administration officials will visit 20 states over the next three weeks to highlight the impact of Biden’s economic program. Biden, according to the White House.
Biden has said he intends to run for a second term but has yet to officially launch his re-election campaign.
His effort to highlight legislative victories could also give him the opportunity to present voters with images of a government-focused administration as 2024 Republican front-runner former President Donald Trump prepares to a possible indictment.
Trump is under investigation over payments during his 2016 campaign to two women who alleged sexual affairs or encounters with him. The ex-president denies being involved with either of the women – porn actor Stormy Daniels and model Karen McDougal.
Trump narrowly won North Carolina in 2020. Other states Biden and administration officials will visit in the coming weeks include Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Wisconsin – fields of crucial battles that Biden won in 2020 and the states are expected to be competitive again in 2024.