FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the economy at Auburn Manufacturing in Auburn
Author: Andrea Shalal
(Reuters) – WASHINGTON: Next week, Vice President Joe Biden will go to Arizona, a key battleground state, and two other Western states as part of a travel blitz by top administration officials to talk about recent economic gains and the anniversaries of important laws.
After a week of vacation in his home state of Delaware, Biden will visit Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah from August 7-10 to praise the work of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) to fight the climate crisis and “unleash a clean energy and manufacturing boom,” according to an administration official. The official also said that on August 16, Biden will host an event at the White House.
An official said that senior White House officials and cabinet members would travel all over the country starting this week and going through the August recess of Congress to celebrate the anniversaries of the IRA, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the PACT Act, which helps veterans.
The U.S. economy grew at an annualized rate of 2.4% in the second quarter, which was faster than expected. Also, headline inflation has dropped sharply from its high point in 2022, which points to a soft landing that could help Biden in the run-up to the 2024 presidential election.
But economists say that measures of underlying price pressures have moved more slowly, and the personal consumption expenditures price index, without food and energy costs, is still more than double the Federal Reserve’s 2% target.
The Biden administration has had a hard time getting its message of economic progress across to a skeptical American public and showing how the laws will lead to more jobs and growth in the future.
The travel sprint this summer is part of the group’s ongoing effort to get that message out.
The vice president, Kamala Harris, and the secretary of commerce, Gina Raimondo, will go to Wisconsin to talk about investments in broadband infrastructure made possible by the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill signed into law 20 months ago.
The official said the number of new laws had a big impact on private investments. Since the CHIPS and the IRA were signed into law last year, over $500 billion in manufacturing and clean energy investments have been announced, and the government has announced over $280 billion in funding for infrastructure.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will also go to Oregon and Washington state this week. He will talk about grants for fighting wildfires made possible by the infrastructure law in Oregon. In Washington state, he will talk about investments in agricultural research that consider climate change.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and White House National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi plan to visit Puerto Rico as part of ongoing efforts to rebuild a more reliable grid in the U.S. territory and lower energy costs.
The official said that Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg will go to central and southern Illinois to talk about investments in clean energy. He will also go to Houston, Texas, to help cut the ribbon on the Houston Port.
The official said other cabinet members would go to Maine, Maryland, Nevada, Michigan, and California.