President Biden on Tuesday bashed Republicans and touted his own agenda in front of a friendly crowd of union workers for his first speech since he announced his reelection bid.
“They’d rather see kids and seniors struggle with what they need, people on Medicare lose their health care, veterans lose access to doctors visits… than cut subsidies to Big Oil that made $200 billion and Big Pharma and the wealthiest corporations” Biden said, referring to the House Republican proposal that pairs a debt limit increase with government spending cuts.
“Same old trickle down dressed up in MAGA clothing. Only worse because this time they’re saying if they don’t get their way, if Biden doesn’t agree with them and agree with all the cuts… they’re going to let the country default on its debt,” he added in remarks to a North America’s Building Trades Union conference.
The White House on Tuesday said that Biden would veto the House Republican measure if it made it to his desk. The legislation would cap government funding at fiscal 2022 levels and would also limit spending growth to 1 percent annually over the next decade with other proposals aimed at curbing spending.
Biden, in his remarks, focused on Democratic accomplishments from his first two years, including the Inflation Reduction Act and the infrastructure law.
“Our economic plan is working, we now have to finish the job and there’s more to do,” the president said, giving a nod to the 2024 campaign.
He outlined that the Inflation Reduction Act— the Democrats’ sweeping climate and tax bill— is taking on Big Pharma and lowering the cost of insulin, but that no Republicans voted for it. And, he noted that House Republicans want to repeal parts of it, including the clean energy jobs portion.
Biden said that Senate Republicans have told him they would have voted for the bill, but they’d get primaried if they did, adding “not a profile in courage but an acknowledgment.”
The president launched his 2024 campaign early on Tuesday through a video, which included images of Jan. 6, 2021 and former President Trump and called on voters to help him finish the job he has started.
Kevin Munoz, spokesperson for Biden-Harris 2024 campaign, said in a statement that Biden “believes in the dignity of work, and in stark contrast to the MAGA Republicans running for president, he knows that workers deserve more rights, not fewer.”
The president walked onto the stage to chants of “Let’s go Joe!” and union workers yelled out “four more years!” as he spoke.
“I make no apologies for being the most pro-union President. And I’m proud of it,” Biden said. “We—you and I together—we’re turning things around and we’re doing it in a big way.”