Biden says US risks losing ‘edge’ without major infrastructure spending

By Jarrett Renshaw and Trevor Hunikut

Howell, Mitch.

Democratic moderates and progressives gave Biden a push last week when they failed to move forward with his proposed $ 1 trillion infrastructure bill or the planned $ 3.5 trillion social spending bill, which is now facing a downturn.

“These bills are not left vs. right or moderate vs. progressive,” Biden said in Michigan, arguing that the bill would make the United States more competitive and restore its role as a world leader.

“We, as a nation, are at risk of losing our edge … opposing this investment must be part of America’s downfall,” he said.

Democrats fear angry voters could be punished in the November 2022 congressional election if they fail to pass an infrastructure bill. Reconstruction of U.S. infrastructure was one of Biden’s main election promises.

Biden’s proposed larger “Build Back Better” bills include child care, housing and health care benefits, free community college tuition and clean energy subsidies, all of which the White House said would not increase the country’s growth because they would be paid for taxes. Rich and corporations.

Biden said the investment was urgent, citing opponents such as China, which he said had spent nearly three times as much on U.S. infrastructure as part of its economy.

“Our competitors aren’t hanging on to see what we’re going to do,” he said.

Before leaving Washington, Biden met with moderate Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives to discuss the Infrastructure Bill and its Build Back Better Agenda.

Describing the meeting as fruitful, the White House said in a statement that the group “renewed its commitment to pass each bill so that we can make investing in families the focus of our economic growth strategy.”

Biden held a similar meeting with progressives on Monday.

Biden’s allies are concerned that his planned program, many of whose opinion polls are popular with Americans, has been lost in legal disputes.

The state has turned upside down in Biden

Michigan is an electoral battlefield state where Biden went from Republican to Democratic in 2020.

Biden was at Howell, a town of 9,500, about 55 miles (90 km) west of Detroit, and visited an international Union of Operating Engineers training center. The city is located in the highly competitive 8th Congressional District. Voters there elected Trump in 2020 but returned Democratic Representative Alyssa Slotkin to Congress.

Slotkin supports the 1 trillion road-bridge bill and supports the elements of the comprehensive social spending law but says he needs to fully review the plan.

“We’re not going to accept this bill and we’re not going to give our kids more debt and we’re not going to pay for this bill behind working families,” Slotkin said. He said he discussed the matter with Biden on his way from the airport.

Progressive House Democrats have said they will not vote in favor of the infrastructure bill unless they support Biden’s Social Expenditure Bill, which has lost some moderates due to price tags. The controversy forced Democratic leaders last week to postpone a vote scheduled to measure small infrastructure, which has already garnered bipartisan Senate support.

Biden said the size of the social spending bill would have to come down to win the two Senate Democratic Moderates, Kirsten Cinema and Joe Manchin. They need support because all Senate Republicans oppose the larger bill and need every Democratic vote to pass.

In his virtual meeting with progressives on Monday, Biden set a range from $ 1.9 trillion to $ 2.2 trillion for the social spending reunification package, a House Democratic aide said.

The associate said Pramila Jaipal, chairperson of the five-member Congressional Progressive Caucus, suggested that the limit would be too low for all the programs that the president had previously given priority to the Congress.

(Reporting by Jarrett Renshaw and Trevor Hunikut; Additional reporting by Susan Heavy, Susan Cornwell, Jeff Mason and Alexandra Alpar; Editing by Heather Timmons, Sonia Hepinstall and Howard Golar)

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