The White House accused Republicans of “actively seeking to hurt the pandemic response” and “explicitly rooting” for inflation while making the case for President Joe Biden’s success on Thursday.
Principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that Biden had “delivered” a strong economy and strong federal response to COVID-19, among other positive results.
“Meanwhile, Republicans are actively seeking to hurt the pandemic response and explicitly rooting for … inflation to get worse, so they are blocking what we are trying to do for the American people,” Jean-Pierre said.
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Asked about the $2.4 trillion climate and social welfare spending bill stalling in the Democratic-controlled Senate, Jean-Pierre praised what the president and congressional Democrats have accomplished this year “working with the narrowest majorities possible.”
“He turned around a failing COVID response and a sputtering economy, and he’s taking strong action to address the financial challenge that Americans care about the most,” she said. “His leadership and those bills have now resulted in an unprecedented economic recovery that is the envy of the world, historic job growth, the fastest drop in unemployment in history, strengthened supply chains, and boosted competitiveness against China.”
The White House spokeswoman then contrasted this record with the Republicans’ approach.
“We delivered because we stayed focused on what the American people care about and did the work,” Jean-Pierre said.
Republicans have clashed with the Biden administration on vaccine mandates and argued that his spending proposals would worsen inflation, which recently hit its highest rate in nearly 40 years.
The president’s spending legislation has failed to advance in the Senate because West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin has so far been unwilling to support it. Some Democrats have begun to move away from Biden’s preferred policies on COVID-19, especially at the state level. Two Democratic senators also voted for a Republican bill rejecting the administration’s vaccine mandate for large private employers, which has been held up in court.
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Biden’s job approval rating stands at 44% in the RealClearPolitics polling average, with 50.5% disapproving. Most polls show him underwater on the economy, crime, and immigration, especially.
The same polling average showed 61.3% think the country is on the wrong track compared to 31.1% who see it moving in the right direction. Republicans are heavily favored in next year’s midterm elections.