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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Biden has found a key tool for selling the most progressive parts of his agenda during his first 100 days: make them all about jobs.

Why it matters: Long considered a centrist Democrat, Biden has had to court and cater to his party's progressive wing to maintain support in a narrowly divided Congress. Talking jobs also has the benefit of resonating with the moderates and conservatives he needs in 2022 and beyond.

The big picture: From coronavirus relief and infrastructure to climate change and immigration, the president has continually argued each proposal will be an economic driver and jobs creator — addressing a key vulnerability Democrats have faced in pushing progressive solutions previously.

  • As he rolled out his climate plan to a worldwide audience Thursday, Biden declared: “When people talk about climate, I think jobs.”
Climate initiative
  • During the speech, in which he outlined the most ambitious climate proposal of any U.S. president in history, Biden said "jobs" eight times and mentioned the economy six times.
  • An accompanying statement issued by the White House used "jobs" no fewer than 13 times.
Coronavirus relief

Biden's $1.9-trillion-dollar "American Rescue Plan" included huge increases in money for direct payments, state and local governments, vaccine distribution, schools and enhanced unemployment insurance, among other provisions.

  • While Republicans attempted to play up the parts of the bill they said had nothing to do with the pandemic, the Biden administration successfully messaged it as a measure that would revitalize the economy and create more American jobs.
Infrastructure

Politicians in both parties have long argued better infrastructure will drive job creation throughout the economy, particularly manufacturing.

  • While providing more funding for "traditional" infrastructure projects like building and improving roads, bridges and airports, Biden's American Jobs Plan agenda also sets aside a large chunk of money for his climate proposals and Family Plan — which aims to improve child care and paid family leave.
  • When Republicans have branded those elements a "progressive wishlist" unrelated to infrastructure, administration officials have argued how each part will help create and facilitate job growth.
  • It's also a big part of why the White House titled it the "American Jobs Plan" — they want Americans to be repeatedly reminded of the word.
Immigration

Biden has repeatedly defended the importance of immigration by referencing how Dreamers and other immigrants fill essential jobs, arguing they're key drivers of entrepreneurship and population growth.

  • The president sent an immigration proposal to Congress on Day 1. The fact sheet accompanying it mentioned the economy five times, with a key section outlining how Biden thinks immigration will grow it.

The bottom line: The Biden administration knows a key part of getting his priorities through Congress is successfully branding them with the American people.

  • A simultaneous challenge is convincing the public — who also are voters — that his most progressive proposals won't come at the expense of jobs and the economy but, instead, bolster them.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Apr 23, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Exclusive: Biden's economic team makes its case for big climate investments

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) has prepared a detailed analysis arguing that big new investments in climate-friendly energy and infrastructure are crucial to U.S. competitiveness and to avoid increasing damage to the economy.

Why it matters: The forthcoming report is the most detailed White House effort yet to explain the economic case for its clean energy R&D and deployment proposals.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

First fatality confirmed in downtown Austin mass shooting

Police barricades near the scene of a shooting in Austin, Texas, on Saturday. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

A 25-year-old man died Sunday of injuries sustained in a mass shooting that wounded 13 other people in downtown Austin, Texas, the previous day, police confirmed.

Driving the news: Austin police named the victim as Douglas John Kantor, as they continued to search for one of two suspects. One suspect was taken into custody on Saturday following the shooting on 6th Street, a popular area with bars and restaurants.

Pelosi demands Barr and Sessions testify on data subpoenas

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during an event San Francisco, California, on Friday. Photo: Miikka Skaffari/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told CNN Sunday that former Attorneys General William Barr and Jeff Sessions should testify before Congress on reports that the Trump-era Department of Justice seized Democrats' and journalists' data records.

Driving the news: DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz announced Friday an internal investigation into the matter, and Pelosi expressed disbelief to CNN's Dana Bash at assertions that neither Barr nor Sessions knew of probes into lawmakers.

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