WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Monday criticized the Republicans as “fiscal dement” and said the top priority of the GOP legislation would exacerbate inflation while raising taxes for the working class and helping the super-rich.
“That’s how they start their new term,” Biden said during remarks at an event hosted by the National Action Network, a civil rights organization. “If any of these bills reach my desk, I will veto it.”
Biden began his remarks, held on the federal holiday honoring Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, listing ways he said his administration has helped black Americans, a group critical to his election to the White House in 2020. But Biden said those achievements must now be defended because Republicans won control of the House in the 2022 midterm elections.
“On this and so much, I stand with you,” said Biden, who is expected to announce in the coming weeks that he is running for a second term in 2024. “We have to stand together.”
Biden’s comments came as he came under increasing attack from Republicans for his handling of classified documents when he was vice president.
“There are a lot of questions to ask,” Steve Scalise, R-La., Majority House leader, said Monday on TBEN Business Network’s “Mornings with Maria.” who is in charge of the House to be held accountable and get answers.”
White House spokesman Ian Sams on Monday accused Republicans of being “blatantly hypocritical” for brushing off concerns about former President Donald Trump’s much larger stash of classified documents, who resisted giving them up .
Closing 2022 strong: The Democrats’ better-than-expected results in the midterm elections helped Biden close 2022 with a stack of year-end victories. His approval rating started rising again.
Stumbling Early: But last week’s revelation that classified documents were found in his private office in Washington and a garage at his home in Wilmington, Delaware, is a problem. They have added legitimacy to the Republicans’ determination to investigate Biden.
Draw a contrast: Biden did not address the documents issue specifically, or Republican investigative efforts in general, in Monday’s remarks. Instead, he tried to draw a contradiction in policy.
Biden attacks Republicans
Biden indirectly delivered on Monday what was perhaps his harshest comment. He said his administration was able to improve the lives of Black Americans and others while being fiscally responsible by touting an increase in the minimum tax on businesses and a reduction in the deficit.
“These guys are fiscally demented, I think,” Biden added in a clear reference to Republicans. “They don’t quite get it.”
Brewing tax battles
Biden was more specific when he criticized some of the legislative priorities of House Republicans. He said the bill Republicans passed last week to rescind a funding increase for the IRS to hire about 87,000 workers, including agents, would add $114 billion to the shortfall by making it easier for the wealthy and big corporations to cheat their taxes. Republicans say their bill, which has little chance of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate, is needed to prevent IRS agents from going after hard-working Americans.
Biden also criticized a GOP plan, which has not yet been voted on, to abolish the IRS and replace the income tax with a consumption tax.
And he accused Republicans of wanting to go after Social Security and Medicare, a potential battle brewing as Republicans vow federal spending must be curbed before agreeing to raise the cap on how much the government can borrow.
defend ‘wake up’
In addition to fiscal policy, Biden also defended his actions on social justice and cultural war issues.
Talking about civil rights achievements — including making lynching a federal hate crime, establishing Juneteenth as a federal holiday and enshrining marriage equality in federal law — Biden said addressing past abuse “doesn’t” awake’.”
“That’s fair,” he said.
Some Republicans have resisted a “wake up” that they say is being forced upon society as punishment for “perceived past and present sins.”
Why it matters
Biden repeated his frequent claims that he is willing to work with Republicans on “real solutions.” But a legislative stalemate is the most likely outcome in a divided government, especially in today’s polarized political environment.
As he gears up for an anticipated re-election bid, Biden takes every opportunity to contrast with the GOP. His address on Monday maybe have had the additional purpose of stirring up an important constituency.
Reverend Al Sharpton, founder and president of the National Action Network, introduced Biden by saying he has always stood with Black America.
“Over the past two years, we’ve accomplished an awful lot together,” Biden said. “So let’s keep going.”
Want to know more? Here’s what you missed
We must ‘save the soul’ of America: Biden speaks at Martin Luther King Jr.’s church
Biden Documents: Republicans want more information; Democrats say GOP defends Trump
Americans don’t expect much: What will happen in Washington in the next 2 years?
‘Fairness and double standards’: How Biden’s classified document debacle could turn into a political, legal liability
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: In MLK Day speech, Biden slams Republicans, praises Black Americans