White House makes case for Biden progress
The White House is distributing a new memo to Democrats making the case that President Biden has made significant progress on a number of fronts, from the coronavirus pandemic to supply chains, in his first year in office.
The memo, a copy of which was obtained by The Hill, is entitled “2021: POTUS Delivered Results for Working Families.” It highlights Biden’s success in getting both his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan and the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed by Congress, framing the year as a legislative success even as talks around Biden’s climate and social spending package recently faltered.
The two-page memo, which was first reported by Axios, also highlights the Biden administration’s coronavirus vaccination program, crediting it with administering 490 million vaccine doses and preventing millions of deaths and hospitalizations.
“In spite of unprecedented crises and opposition from Congressional Republicans, President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Congressional Democrats got an enormous amount done for the American people in 2021,” it states.
The memo uses a graph to contrast the percentage of American adults who are fully vaccinated now — about 71 percent — compared to the end of the Trump administration, when the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines had just been approved and were not widely available and less than 1 percent of Americans were vaccinated.
The memo also uses graphs to convey similar progress on school reopenings and the economy, noting, for instance, that the unemployment rate was 6.3 percent before Biden took office and now stands at 4.2 percent.
It also says that Biden is addressing rising prices by releasing 50 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and signing an executive order on competition “that is already lowering the prices of hearing aids.”
The memo, which sets up a narrative of progress that Democrats are trying to build ahead of the looming 2022 midterm elections, comes amid some criticism of the White House and Democrats’ messaging.
Democrats are trying to make the case that they are delivering for the American public on key priorities and working to address economic challenges like inflation that have plagued the economy during the pandemic.
Republicans are expected to have an advantage going into the midterms and Democrats have voiced concerns about their political prospects due to Biden’s low poll numbers and the recent collapse of negotiations around Biden’s Build Back Better legislation.
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