U.S. President Joe Biden will highlight a four-point plan to save the American economy instead of his Build Back Better spending plan when he makes his State of the Union speech, administration officials disclosed.
“It’s not about the name of the bill,” a government official said. “It’s about the ideas. It’s about lowering costs for families.”
As the news cycle revolves around Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Biden’s attention has been diverted from the administration’s efforts to revive its domestic economic agenda before the Nov. 8 congressional election.
However, Biden is retooling his push for tax and spending reforms in a new way as his approval ratings plummet, Reuters reported.
He promoted a lot of familiar policies, but his messaging differs significantly.
“The president will call on Congress to send him a bill that lowers costs and lowers the deficit without delay,” the White House said in a preview of the speech.
“American families need relief from higher costs, and they need it now.”
There is a push to transform society with a Build Back Better social-spending agenda. In it, there is talk of controlling deficits and combating inflation, two concerns that Democrat Joe Manchin, the swing vote in the Senate, felt had been overlooked.
The Manchin opposition sank a package of Biden economic reforms intended to reduce income inequality, help working families, and meet climate goals. Among the many reforms, Biden will advocate is a four-point plan:
- Move goods cheaper and faster,
- Reduce costs,
- Promote competition
- Remove barriers to employment.
In addition to his $1 trillion infrastructure proposal, Biden will repair 65,000 miles (105,000 kilometers) of roads and 1,500 bridges. The president will ask Congress to finish drafting bills he hopes will enhance the U.S. economy’s competitiveness against China.
He will also assert that ocean shipping is dominated by a few foreign-owned companies, which are raising costs too much.
Biden also urged agencies such as the Department of Justice to take steps to promote competition in that industry. Shipping costs are expected to increase consumer prices by 1% next year, according to the administration.
In addition, he will announce plans to increase safety inspections of nursing homes, especially those run by private equity firms, to reduce their costs and poor patient outcomes. Additionally, he would like to see federal employees hired based on their skills rather than merely on their educational qualifications.
Biden’s favorability with voters as an economic steward has been undermined by rising costs resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic.
The CPI rose 7.5% year-over-year in the 12 months until January, the highest percentage increase since February 1982.
According to Reuters/Ipsos polling, Biden has a 43% approval rating close to his lowest point since taking office.