Biden addresses the middle class as Democrats battle for support ahead of midterms
PORTLAND, Ore. — President Joe Biden at a community center here Saturday promoted Democrat efforts to cut health care costs, during a visit to a normally Democratic state three weeks before the midterm elections that will determine control of Congress for the next two years.
Speaking on the first day of open Medicare enrollment, Biden touted a $750 billion climate, tax and health care package. patients and to allow federal programs to negotiate the prices of certain high-cost drugs.
Middle-class families deserved the security of having extra pocket money after paying their monthly bills, he said. And reducing health care costs was key to achieving this.
“My dad used to say everyone deserves a little break,” Biden told about 200 supporters at the community center on the east side of town. “That’s all it’s about. You know, a lot of people don’t get a break. This is especially the case when it comes to health care and prescription drugs.
Democrats in Congress – whose senses. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici of the Oregon delegation, who were present – lobbied for these provisions and voted unanimously for the bill, while all Republicans voted for it. opposites, Biden said.
Passing the bill represents a rare victory over the pharmaceutical industry, he said.
“This year, the American people won and, for the first time, Big Pharma lost,” he said.
Costs for Medicaid and Medicare users are expected to decline, while Social Security payments will increase, Biden said.
Biden’s visit came as Oregon’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tina Kotek struggles in a surprisingly tough election, the Oregon Capital Chronicle reported, against an unaffiliated candidate, former Democratic senator Betsy Johnson and Republican Christine Drazan. Biden was scheduled to attend a $500 reception for Kotek later Saturday before leaving to return to the East Coast.
On Friday night, he attended an event with the Oregon Democrats where coverage was limited to a press pool. The pool reported that he brought donuts and joined volunteers at a table to make calls to voters.
Democratic candidates for state Congress also face tough races, though incumbent Wyden’s seat is seen as “solid” for Democrats by the Cook Political Report with Amy Walter.
But in other races across the country, Biden’s low approval ratings could portend a tough November for Democrats. In a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll55% of respondents disapproved of his work while only 40% approved.
Distinguishing GOP Senators
Republicans in Congress want to weaken Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security by requiring the programs to be reauthorized every year or every few years, Biden told the crowd at the community center.
He singled out Republican Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, who leads the Republican campaign arm of the Senate, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who is in a close re-election race against Democrat Mandela Barnes.
Scott “has come up with a plan to put Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block every five years,” Biden said. “Well, guess what, one guy thought that was too lenient, the guy – Wisconsin senator named Johnson. He thinks it should be every year.
Democrats control both houses of Congress by narrow margins, though the party faces strong headwinds to hold on to its majorities. Close races in states such as Georgia, Nevada, Ohio and Pennsylvania could tip the Senate to one side or the other, while most forecasters see Republicans heavily favored for take the House despite the insistence of leading Democrats that they could still retain control.
On Friday, Biden told local Democrats that continued progress on their agenda hinged on maintaining majorities in Congress, according to a White House transcript.
“If we’re able to keep the House and keep the Senate, we can keep doing the things that we’ve done that are really going to…change the country,” he said. “We are at a real inflection point in this country. What happens in the next four to six years will determine what happens for the next three or four generations.
middle class warrior
Biden at the community center touted the Democrats’ agenda as supporting the middle class, while Republican policies would favor the wealthy.
“I’ve never been a big fan of trickle-down economics,” he said, referring to a long-standing Republican policy of cutting corporate taxes in an effort to create jobs.
Biden also promoted a provision in the health care, tax and climate bill that would set a minimum corporate tax at 15%. Big business made $40 billion this year but paid nothing in taxes, he said, to the mockery of the crowd.
Biden’s biggest line of applause for a purple-strewn audience from the Service Employees International Union, a major union representing workers in health care and other service industries, was a direct appeal to middle-class workers.
“The middle class built this country,” he said. “And unions built the middle class.”