President Joe Biden said Tuesday that Republican ideas for cutting the budget could undermine American manufacturing and help China dominate the global economy.
Speaking to a semiconductor maker in North Carolina to highlight his own policies, Biden tries to shape public opinion as he takes on House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., on the whether the federal government should increase its statutory borrowing capacity.
McCarthy sent a letter Tuesday saying talks should begin on possible spending cuts in return for raising the debt ceiling. Biden said Republicans need to come up with their own budget plan before negotiations begin. Without an agreement, the federal government could default on its financial obligations.
The president tried to ratchet up the heat on Tuesday by saying the GOP demands on the budget would only strengthen China, the country’s main geopolitical rival. Being tough on China has been central to the identity of former President Donald Trump, who is seeking to return to the White House in 2024, and his Make America Great Again movement. The Democratic president said their objections to his policies would instead strengthen China.
“It would mean ceding the future of innovation and technology to China,” Biden told the crowd. “I have news for you and for the MAGA Republicans in Congress: not on my watch. We are not going to let them undo all the progress we have made.
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.
His trip is part of a wider effort to draw attention to his policies, which have been overshadowed by high inflation.
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 governance-focused administration as 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.