First Look: Biden begins to map big spending plans
The Biden administration is mapping out the billions of dollars in infrastructure, green technology and chips money it muscled through Congress, as it tries to convince a skeptical public that Bidenomics is working for them.
Why it matters: In the second leg of their “Investing in America” tour, President Biden and his Cabinet are buzzing across the country. They're carrying a message that's upbeat about the economy — topped with a jab at Republicans.
- More than anything, they want to draw a direct link between a booming jobs market and the trillions of dollars in new government spending Biden signed into law.
- At the same time, they like to highlight how Republicans voted against many of those stimulus bills.
- Maps showing the reach of Biden's programs — such as a new one the Department of Interior is releasing today — are central to both efforts.
- It shows how the $7.3 billion in interior grants are spread across the country in more than 1,300 projects.
Driving the news: Biden heads to South Carolina today to tout a new investment from Enphase Energy, a solar technology company, to partner with Flex LTD, a global manufacturer, to create an estimated 600 jobs in one of the country's reddest states.
- He also will mark a milestone the White House is eager to promote: By the administration's count, private companies have announced more than $500 billion in investment in U.S. manufacturing and infrastructure projects that are directly related to Biden's new federal spending.
- A budding manufacturing supercycle, in which hundreds of billions of dollars in government investment creates a floor of good-paying manufacturing jobs, is central to Biden’s reelection campaign.
The big picture: Today’s presidential sortie to South Carolina is another opportunity for Biden to make the case directly to voters about what Bidenomics will mean for them and their communities.
- Last week in Chicago, in an attempt to co-opt a term Republicans have used pejoratively, he finally embraced the Bidenomics label.
- The core of Biden’s argument is that his three signature legislative accomplishments — the infrastructure law, the Inflation Reduction Act and the Chips and Science Act — will help grow the U.S. economy from the middle class out.
- So far, voters have been skeptical — and although consumer sentiment is trending upward, Biden consistently gets poor marks for his handling of the economy in public opinion surveys. Only one in three adults say they approve of his approach, according to a recent Association Press survey.
- Manufacturers, meanwhile, are less optimistic about their companies' outlooks than last quarter, according to a June survey from the National Association of Manufacturers.
Between the lines: The Interior Department is the first agency to release its own interactive map of projects, joining the White House, which has diligently updated its database of public and private investments in manufacturing as well as its infrastructure spending dashboard.
- Other departments, such as Commerce and Transportation, which have much bigger shares of the spending pie — are expected to follow suit.
What they're saying: “You aren’t done hearing about Bidenomics,” said White House communications director Ben LaBolt. “Following his major address in Chicago, the president, vice president, Cabinet members and senior administration officials will continue to make a full-court press on Bidenomics this week.”
- "If Republicans in Congress — including every Republican member of the House of Representatives from South Carolina — had their way, South Carolina would have lost out on billions of dollars in investments, jobs, and opportunity," reads a White House fact sheet on the trip.