Biden celebrates victories, but Republican extremism remains the focus

President Biden and more than a thousand party activists, business leaders, union leaders and lawmakers celebrated the Democrats’ climate change and drug pricing bill at the White House Tuesday afternoon.

But even as Biden was promoting the new law, renamed this summer the Inflation Cuts Act, a worse-than-expected inflation report sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average to its worst day in two years.

Despite the harsh economic news — some networks carrying Biden’s speech live broadcast a tape at the bottom of the screen showing the Dow Jones index slipping — the president, dressed in T-shirts and aviator sunglasses, was excited as he addressed the supportive crowd on South Lawn, announcing this in this Status, “The American people won and special interests lost.”

The enthusiasm at the event, which James Taylor started with a short slate, reflected how long Democrats had fought for what they finally achieved in this bill, which would lower prescription drug costs, speed up the country’s transition to renewable energy, raise taxes on some businesses and cut the deficit. .

As Biden and congressional leaders have made an argument for what they have done over the past two years, they have continued to compare their record with that of the Republican Party.

Democrats hope increasing contrasts with Republicans, portraying them as extremists after January 6, 2021, the Capitol rebellion and the Supreme Court’s decision to repeal federal protections for abortion rights, might persuade voters to look beyond high inflation.

The June Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson for the Women’s Health Organization may have improved the Democrats’ midterm view more than the domestic spending bill.

Senator Lindsey Graham (RS.C.) on Tuesday called for a federal ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy — a baffling policy move that drew attention away from new inflation data and appears to support Biden’s argument about the Republican Party’s ongoing effort to eliminate Abortion rights.

Speaking before Biden took the stage, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer called Graham’s proposal “unreasonable” and said it was evidence of two very different visions of governing the country.

“While Republicans in MAGA focus on their extremist agenda such as banning national abortion, Democrats focus on creating jobs, cutting costs, and uniting the country,” Schumer said.

Republicans, who have seen their advantage in the polls waning in recent months, argued in a new strategy note released Tuesday that the election will continue around “the economy and crime,” and that the ballot indicates that GOP candidates can make gains by convincing voters that Biden and Democrats are Those responsible for the high prices of goods and services.

Although gas prices have fallen in the past few months and inflation appears to have finally peaked, new data released Tuesday showed inflation was 8.3% year-over-year in August, down only slightly from 8.5% in July and 9.1% in June. Analysts said rising food, electricity and healthcare costs were the main factors keeping general inflation high.

These numbers may complicate Democrats’ efforts to convince voters that their actions are making an impact. Moreover, many cost-cutting aspects of the inflation-reducing law, including capping out-of-pocket drug costs, will not take effect for a few more years.

Biden, in a short statement Tuesday morning, described the legislation as a response to inflation and sought to frame the new data positively, which he said showed “more progress in lowering global inflation in the US economy.”

“Overall, prices have been basically flat in our country for the past two months: this is welcome news for American families, and more work remains to be done,” he added.

In his comments later, Biden admitted to inflation in passing, repeating that there was “more work to be done” to bring prices down. But he focused mostly on making a positive case for his record, asserting that Democrats, despite their narrow majorities in Congress, have introduced substantial reforms in many areas of policy.

Making progress in a country as large and complex as ours is not easy. Biden said. “But with firm belief, commitment and patience, progress is achieved.”

He said the Inflation Control Act, in particular, would “cut costs for American households” by lowering drug prices and other health care expenditures, introducing new tax credits for electric vehicles and other renewable energy programs.

And he warned that Republicans have vowed to back out of all this if they win in November and take control of Congress next year.

Even with more action needed to meet Biden’s emissions-reduction goals, renewable energy advocates said the importance of the legislative achievement being celebrated cannot be understated.

Gregory Wheatstone, CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy, praised the bill’s unprecedented progress toward accelerating the nation’s energy transition.

He said in a statement.

Biden signed the legislation into law during a smaller ceremony at the White House last month when most lawmakers were out of town. Tuesday’s biggest rally came exactly eight weeks before the midterm elections that will determine whether Democrats can hold onto a slim majority in Congress.

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