WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s legislative victories were aimed at positioning the U.S. to “continue economic competition from the 9 p.m. odd-day period through the midterms.”
From supercharging the U.S. computer chip sector to transitioning the nation to a greener economy, it will be years before Biden’s achievements bear fruit — reflecting the sheer scope of his ambitions that have combined Biden into one of the most legislatively prolific presidents in recent memory have made memory.
But Democrats are also betting that the rapid decline in recent gains will persuade an electorate dejected about the economy and the country’s overall direction to vote for their party anyway. It’s particularly important to show voters what Democrats can achieve when they hold power in Washington, even if energy costs don’t come down immediately or a new bridge takes years to complete.
“I think this law will have an immediate political impact, but not because people will feel the impact over the next six weeks,” Senator Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, said of the big health, climate and economic package, that finds its way through Congress. “That’s because they know we’re legislators who haven’t passed very many laws in the last six months.”
Schatz added, “It’s a mood, and the mood wins.”
The White House sees the legislative victories as interlocking pieces that fulfill the agenda Biden set when he ran for president in 2020 with a promise to help the country outperform rising China. Policy proposals have focused on addressing generational threats and creating long-term opportunities — particularly after what Biden saw as troubling setbacks during the Trump years.
Biden, a 50-year Washington veteran and former senator and vice president, also wanted to avoid governing by executive order, a bipartisan crutch for presidents when legislative dysfunction is high. Executive orders can be rewritten or overturned by a president’s successor — and they’re often limited by how much they can do without Congress acting. Biden, White House advisers said, aims not only to change the country’s trajectory but to keep it on that path, a move that requires laws, not emergency declarations.
On Tuesday, as he signed a $280 billion law boosting the U.S.’s competitiveness against China, Biden said he would make a one-time investment whose effects will reverberate for decades. The law provides $52 billion to boost the semiconductor industry, which makes the tiny chips that power everything from smartphones to computers to cars.
“The CHIPS and Science Act will inspire a whole new generation of Americans to answer this question: What’s next?” Biden said. “That’s why I’m confident that decades from now, people will look back on this week, with all that we’ve happened and all that we’ve brought forward, that we’ve met at this turning point in history.”
Speaking to reporters Monday, Biden said the Democrats’ massive climate and health care package — close to the final passage of House on Friday — would help his party ahead of November’s midterm elections, noting in particular the drug pricing provisions.
“Well, some of that isn’t going to happen for a little bit, but it’s all good,” Biden said in Dover, Delaware. “If you sit down at that kitchen table at the end of the month, you’re going to be able to pay a hell of a lot more bills because you’re paying fewer medical bills.”
Biden likes to talk about the bill’s provisions that limit drug costs for seniors on Medicare to $2,000 a year, though that won’t happen until January 2024. White House officials are also promoting an extension of subsidies that would help an estimated 13 million people purchase coverage under the Affordable Care Act, assistance that would have expired this year and subsequently drive up costs.
Other aspects of the climate and health legislation will take much longer. Analysis by Rhodium Group, an independent research firm, says the measure could reduce consumers’ energy bills over the long term, with households saving between $730 and $1,135 a year, but not before 2030. The Congressional Budget Office also said, that inflation-reducing aspects of the Inflationary Reduction Act will be negligible in the short term.
Chris Wilson, a Republican strategist, said the legislation will not help Democrats’ chances if voters already disapprove of Biden’s handling of the economy.
“Joe Biden and the Democrats are taking a big risk by moving a big tax and spending bill on the eve of an election,” he said.
The government is sensitive to criticism that its policies will take years to fully implement.
A senior administration official, who insisted on anonymity to hold private talks, stressed that 18 months of talks and negotiations would be needed before funding for the computer chip could be approved. Because it could take a decade to build semiconductor fabs and move more advanced chip production to the United States, the official said America would have been much further along in the process if Congress had passed the measure sooner. The official said the administration is essentially moving as quickly as possible given the speed of the policy.
The chips bill was more than a year in the making but passed Congress late last month with significant bipartisan margins. The Senate passed it 64-33, with 17 GOP senators supporting it, while the House of Representatives followed by 243-187 votes, including 24 Republicans in favor, though party leaders began pushing their ranks to vote against after Democrats passed the Separation bill focused on climate and health.
The White House on Tuesday tried to start selling the immediate impact of the semiconductor measure, noting that Micron, a leading U.S. chipmaker, will announce a $40 billion plan to boost domestic production of memory chips, while Qualcomm and GlobalFoundries will unveil a $4.2 billion expansion of a chip manufacturing facility in upstate New York.
“We are working hand-in-hand with private companies that are already announcing new investments here at home,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. When asked when Americans will see new jobs or other implications of the new competition law, Jean-Pierre declined to comment, noting that the White House would have details “very soon.”
But there’s also a limit to how quickly the government can pour money into the economy for technological breakthroughs and new infrastructure. Trade Secretary Gina Raimondo has stressed that the goal is to ensure that broadband and economic development funds are well spent, not just quickly shoved out the door. Your department will take the lead in implementing the chips law.
Mitch Landrieu, the former New Orleans mayor who is coordinating the release of infrastructure money, said the goal isn’t necessarily to make medium-term political gains, but rather to ensure state and local governments get the money they desperately need.
“I wasn’t hired as a political forecaster,” Landrieu said in a May interview, noting that even Republicans who opposed infrastructure spending are now touting its benefits, and “that’s fine with us because it’s for the American people was done. ”
Tuesday’s sultry South Lawn ceremony celebrating the competition law was the latest event at the White House to go through a veritable checklist of recent accomplishments. Biden will host another Wednesday to sign legislation offering care to veterans exposed to toxic burn pits. The White House is also expected to hold an event after the climate and health package clears the house.
“We know there are those who are more focused on seeking power than securing the future,” Biden said when he signed the chips measure. But he added that with the new law, “the future of the chip industry will be made in America.”
(Copyright (c) 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed.)
https://whdh.com/news/biden-democrats-bet-on-long-term-goals-for-short-term-boost/ Biden, Democrats set long-term goals for near-term recovery – Boston News Weather Sports