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Biden knocks GOP for opposing his domestic agenda as he celebrates anniversary of the Inflation Reduction Act


By Donald Judd

(CNN) — President Joe Biden celebrated the first anniversary of his administration’s signature climate and health care law on Wednesday – and knocked Republicans for opposing the measure during a lively event in the White House’s East Room.

“The idea that not one single Republican voted for it, you know, I and I know my colleagues know this, and I’ve had several of my former Republican colleagues in the Senate come to me and say they agreed,” Biden said “But the reason they did that was they said ‘Joe, if I vote for X, Y or Z, they’re gonna primary and it’ll cost me my election.’ Not a lot of political courage, but an explanation of why a lot of people believe what we’re doing is right, but are just a little worried in this environment.”

He blasted Republicans, including Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson and Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green, for efforts to overturn the law while still touting investments in local communities resulting from its green manufacturing provisions.

“Republicans have repeatedly tried to repeal key parts of the Inflation Reduction Act, including the speaker of the House now, taking credit for the billions of dollars in private investments and thousands of jobs coming into their states,” he said “That’s OK – when I ran for president I said I represent all Americans, and like I said in the State of the Union, see you at the groundbreaking.”

Biden’s ribbing of Republicans was echoed by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who called lawmakers decision to trumpet new investments in their districts as “proof that the Inflation Reduction Act is working, and is broadly popular.”

“They’re coming to the ribbon-cutting ceremonies, aren’t they, because they know it’s right,” Schumer said earlier in the event. “So, Republicans, next time we want to do something more – and we want to do more, we haven’t finished yet, there’s more to go – join us not only at the ceremonies, but in voting with us for a clean, green, energy bill.”

In his Wednesday remarks, Biden trumpeted provisions in the law that he pledged would cut carbon pollution in half by 2030, invest more than $50 billion to build up climate resilience and save Americans an average of $800 a year in health care premiums under the Affordable Care Act.

The event was the latest in an attempt by Biden and his administration to promote the Inflation Reduction Act as Biden and his team are not getting their message through as much as they’d like. Seven-in-ten respondents in a recent Washington Post-University of Maryland survey said they’d heard little to nothing about the Inflation Reduction Act. Biden’s approval ratings remain underwater, and 75% of Americans said in a recent CNN poll that economic conditions were poor.

“We made all this progress without raising taxes on the middle class – I made a commitment and some thought it was too much of a commitment, too high, that no one making less than $400,000 a year will pay a single penny more in federal taxes,” he boasted “It’s a commitment I’ve kept so far and as long as I’m president, I will keep it – unlike the last president, in my first two years in office, we actually cut the federal debt, the deficit by $1.7 trillion.”

And he took special care to acknowledge ongoing negotiations between the United Auto Workers union and the nation’s three unionized automakers – Ford, General Motors and Stellantis, known as the “Big Three” – one month ahead of a critical deadline for labor talks.

“The clean energy economy should also be a win-win for auto companies and union workers – as the Big Three automakers and companies in the United Auto Workers negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement, I’m asking them to work together to forge a fair agreement,” he said. “Together, together we can make this transition to a clean energy future fair and just, and that means ensuring that auto jobs continue to be good jobs that can support a family.”

Biden also struck a defiant tone against detractors who’ve criticized his domestic agenda.

“All we hear from our friends on the other side of the aisle is what they claim is, what’s wrong with America,” he said. “Let me tell you, let me tell you, they’re telling us America’s failing? They’re dead wrong. They’re dead wrong. America isn’t failing, America’s winning. And I’ve said a thousand times, a thousand times – there is no quit in America.”

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