Biden, in Chicago to raise money Wednesday, plans to tout his economic achievements

A major “Bidenomics” speech will come against an Illinois backdrop of governments running cities, counties, public schools and the state benefiting enormously from massive infusions of federal cash.

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President Biden Holds First Rally For Reelection With Union Members In Philadelphia

President Joe Biden will deliver a speech on his economic achievements Wednesday in Chicago.

Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — When President Joe Biden travels to Chicago on Wednesday for a reelection fundraiser, he will also deliver what is being billed by the White House as a “major” speech on his economic achievements, dubbed “Bidenomics.”

With the end of the quarter approaching, Biden’s main fundraiser will be hosted by Gov. J.B. Pritzker and his wife, M.K. Though he does not face a significant primary rival, the president’s team wants a strong showing when the numbers come out in mid-July. Biden is winding up a fundraising blitz that has or will also take him to California, Connecticut, Maryland and New York.

On Friday, another event was added to his schedule — the “Bidenomics” speech — making this Chicago visit a split political and government day, meaning the costs are shared between taxpayers and the Biden political operation.

The Wednesday visit will mark Biden’s first trip to Chicago since he gave the green light for the city to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention, at which he and Vice President Kamala Harris are expected to be nominated for a second term.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Friday that Biden’s “major” address in Chicago will be on “Bidenomics, his vision for growing the economy from the middle out and bottom up, not from the top down.”

She said the president “will highlight how for too long failed trickle-down economic policies have continued to be pushed by congressional Republicans, have hollowed out the middle class and sent jobs overseas. President Biden’s economic plan is a break. It is a break from those failed policies.”

The contours of the Biden-Harris reelection campaign are taking shape. And touting economic achievements, including the creation of 13 million jobs — even as times remain challenging for some — is at the top of the political and government agendas.

On another front, the Biden-Harris campaign will be throwing a spotlight on how the administration is trying to safeguard remaining reproductive freedoms a year after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, overturning long-held federal abortion rights. Abortion rights is seen as a rallying issue that will spark voter turnout for the Biden-Harris ticket.

On Friday in Washington, Biden and Harris received the endorsements of the top national reproductive rights groups — Emily’s List, NARAL Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood — at an event both attended.

Friday marked the day before the one-year anniversary of that Supreme Court Dobbs decision, and Biden said at the event that, since then, “We’ve seen the devastating effects all across the country: women turned away from emergency rooms, denied lifesaving care; moms, college students, teachers, nurses traveling hundreds of miles to get basic reproductive health care.”

Biden’s Chicago speech comes against an Illinois backdrop of cities, counties, public schools and the state benefiting enormously from massive infusions of budget-balancing federal cash. There has also been, under various Biden administration programs, federal money for local projects — including $20 million for the Englewood Line Trail, $117 million for rebuilding parts of the Metra Union Pacific North Line and $50 million for terminals at O’Hare Airport, among other projects.

Last weekend, Biden previewed what he is likely to say about “Bidenomics” when he spoke at a labor rally in Philadelphia, coming after the early endorsement of the AFL-CIO.

The Biden White House and campaign are pushing the Biden record in “Investing in America” tours, which kicks off another round on Monday. “Bidenomics” is the shorthand that sweeps in:

  • The massive Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
  • The American Rescue Plan, coming in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, dealing with manufacturing, supply chains and research and development investments. On Friday, the Commerce Department released its road map to channeling federal funding to invest in the semiconductor supply chain and other U.S. supply chain manufacturing.
  • The Inflation Reduction Act, which gives Medicare the power to negotiate lower prescription drug prices.

In Philadelphia, the president said “Bidenomics” is “about building an economy — literally, not figuratively — from the bottom up and the middle out, not the top down. Because when the middle class does well, everybody does well. The poor have a way up, and the wealthy do — do — they just do just fine.

“But like I said, I didn’t just come into office with a theory; I came with a plan. And it started with passing the American Rescue Plan — a plan to vaccinate the nation and get our economy going again,” he said.

Speaking about the infrastructure bill, Biden said of the rare measure passed with GOP votes: “It’s about investing in America and our roads, bridges, ports, airports, clean water, high-speed Internet and so much more.”

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