DURHAM (N.C.) -- On Tuesday, President Biden was in North Carolina and warned that Republicans would undermine the gains made by his administration on American manufacturing. The president is sharpening his political message as he prepares to announce his reelection.
Mr. Biden was speaking at Wolfspeed, which is a semiconductor company that announced recently a $5 billion investment in order to expand its operations in the State, an action that, according to White House, would create approximately 1,800 new jobs. The North Carolina-based company has agreements to supply material to General Motors and other buyers.
Biden was more interested in making an argument for his reelection campaign than he was in semiconductors. He was arguing that the American economy had recovered from the coronavirus outbreak, and that his administration was responsible for keeping it strong. Republican policies, he said, would reverse that progress.
"I have some news for you, and MAGA Republicans, in Congress. Not on my watch," said Mr. Biden, referring the the far right wing of his party, which is loyal to Donald J. Trump, the former president.
White House officials have argued that Biden presided over an economy that was stable and had strong job growth for many months. However, the data shows a much more complex picture: the high rate of job creation has been undermined by the continued slowdown in wage increases and growing fears that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates. Biden's administration has also sought to calm fears of instability following the failure of Silicon Valley Bank earlier this month.
The visit of Mr. Biden to North Carolina marked the beginning of three weeks worth of events that will be held throughout the United States by President Obama, Vice President Kamalah Harris, their spouses, and many cabinet members. According to the White House, this group will visit 20 states, and highlight investments in American manufacturing and supply chains, as well as job creation efforts.
During his visit to Durham, Mr. Biden highlighted the legislation passed last summer, including the CHIPS and Science Act. This act contains $52 billion worth of tax credits and subsidies for companies that produce chips in the United States. Over half of this amount will be used to help companies build the facilities needed to make, assemble and package some of the most advanced chips in the world. In his remarks, President Obama said that more than $435 billion has been invested in American businesses since he became president.
"America is coming back," said Mr. Biden, while standing next to Gina Raimondo the Commerce Secretary, who traveled with them to Durham. We are determined to be the leaders in semiconductor manufacturing.
Ms. Raimondo told the Wolfspeed crowd that the pandemic has 'opened our eyes' about the importance of maintaining a global supply chain, and protecting technology's competitive advantage.
She said, 'The United States has been a manufacturing giant for a very long time.' "Still, but we have been letting our eyes off the ball for too long, as we watched our manufacturing industry leave our shores to find cheap labor in Asia."
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The president addressed people who he felt might be 'left behind by technological changes', and said that his administration would focus its efforts on programs to train workers in producing technological projects without a degree. Mr. Biden stated that the 'vast' majority of Wolfspeed jobs would not require college education and could pay up to $80,000.
Biden, and his surrogates, will have the opportunity to sharpen their argument against Republicans at events like Tuesday's.
Washington is on a collision path over the debt limit.
Kevin McCarthy, Republican Speaker of California, sent a letter to the President on Tuesday urging him to negotiate the federal debt ceiling. McCarthy said that he was 'increasingly concerned' by the president's refusal to negotiate meaningful changes in government spending.
The Debt Limit
Federal Showdown - The United States is once again engaged in a high stakes political battle to pay its debts. The G.O.P. House Republicans blame President Biden's budget bills for the increase in deficits. Economic Risks: Failure to raise the borrowing limit of the federal government in time could cause the U.S. economic system to collapse and shock the financial markets. Fiscal Blame: Both Republicans and Democrats want to blame their opponents for the 'extraordinary' measures taken by the Treasury Department to avoid default.
Mr. Biden said that he would refuse to negotiate the debt ceiling, noting that Republicans had voted several times to increase the ceiling under Mr. Trump, his predecessor.
Karine Jean-Pierre responded to Mr. McCarthy’s letter by saying, 'It is time for Republicans stop playing games and pass a clean bill on the debt ceiling.
In a letter he sent to Mr. McCarthy on Tuesday night, Mr. Biden asked him and the Republican members of Congress to submit a complete budget proposal before Congress left for its Easter break.
The president, his advisors and he himself have indicated that under Republican leadership the situation will be even worse. He emphasized this in North Carolina. The White House claims that private companies have committed $16 billion to investment since Mr. Biden became president. They attribute this development to the fact that corporations have taken advantage of federal funding and tax incentives that encourage innovation.
Mr. Biden has said that money flow would be in danger if Republicans attempted to repeal policies implemented under his administration. This includes the Inflation Reduction Act. He also stated that Americans could lose access to lower costs for health care, internet and energy that were included in bills passed by the Democratic-majority Congress.
Mr. Biden stated that he would not allow them to undo the progress made.