White House pitches Democrats on messaging strategy for Biden agenda

President Biden is coming under growing pressure from the left to voice support for some kind of filibuster reform
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White House senior adviser Anita Dunn will brief Democratic members of Congress on a messaging strategy surrounding President Biden’s agenda on Thursday as the Senate prepares to soon take up a sweeping $3.5 trillion budget bill with his priorities.

The 23-page slide deck, which was obtained by The Hill and is entitled “Building Back Better for Working Families,” encourages Democrats to focus on three deliverables of Biden’s agenda: “more jobs,” “tax cuts” and “lower costs for working families.”

Dunn is expected to use the deck when she speaks at a Senate Democratic caucus lunch and meets with the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee on Thursday. Dunn is also using the slides to brief Democratic governors on messaging around Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda.

The briefings reflect a desire by the White House to get Democrats on board with a coordinated messaging strategy surrounding Biden’s economic agenda, which includes a bipartisan infrastructure bill with $579 billion in new spending and a $3.5 trillion bill filled with liberal priorities that Democrats intend to pass without GOP support through budget reconciliation.

Republicans have already sought to brand the bigger bill as a “reckless” spending spree that will raise taxes. The White House is looking to fend off those attacks.

The slide deck that Dunn will present stresses that Biden’s agenda will be paid for “by making the tax code more fair and making the wealthiest and large corporations pay their fair share.” It highlights Biden’s red line — not raising taxes on those making less than $400,000 annually.

The presentation shows that Dunn will highlight June polling from Biden pollster ALG Research showing that “helping ease the burden of high costs on working families’ emerges as a top reason Americans support” Biden’s economic agenda.

“This is why it’s important to focus on how Build Back Better lowers costs for working families rather than how it gets people back to work or helps the economy,” the presentation says.

The slide deck lays out how lawmakers and officials can make the case that Biden’s plan helps working families by zeroing in on provisions that lower taxes, prescription drug and health care costs and child care costs and those that help fight climate change.

The presentation suggests that Dunn will encourage Democrats to point to specific provisions like the extension of the child tax credit, universal preschool and the expansion and extension of tax credits for clean energy and electric vehicles.

The slide deck also includes examples of how the Biden administration is already working to promote the president’s agenda — namely by dispatching Cabinet secretaries to key states and engaging regularly with local media.

The White House has secured more than 1,000 local television hits since Biden took office and members of the Cabinet have sat for 260 interviews, the presentation notes.

The fate of Biden’s economic agenda is currently uncertain, after Republicans blocked the consideration of the infrastructure deal on Wednesday because the final details and text haven’t yet been worked out.

Still, members of the bipartisan group and White House officials expressed confidence the final details of the bill will be worked out by the beginning of next week. It is expected to be brought up for another vote at that time.

The snag delayed the Senate’s consideration of the $3.5 trillion budget blueprint, which Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) hoped to move this week. Senators are running out of time before the start of the August recess, which could be delayed.

Slide BBB Messaging by J.B. on Scribd

Tags Anita Dunn Biden families and jobs plan Budget Build Back Better Charles Schumer Joe Biden
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