President Joe Biden on Thursday is expected to criticize the fiscal proposals of House Republicans in his first major economic speech of the year, which he will deliver at a steamfitters union hall in Springfield, Virginia.
Biden will talk about his goals of growing the U.S. economy with new factories and construction in communities across the country and creating well-paying jobs for the middle class that don't require a four-year degree, a White House official said. The president will also tout legislative accomplishments during his tenure, including the pandemic-related economic stimulus package passed in 2021, the infrastructure spending bill, legislation aimed at boosting computer chip production, and last year's climate, health care and tax package.
Biden also is expected to announce a new "Invest in America" Cabinet comprised of the secretaries of commerce, labor, transportation, treasury, energy, and health and human services; the EPA administrator; and senior White House advisers, a White House official told NBC News. Biden is charging them with instituting his economic plans.
In his remarks, Biden will contend that the House GOP's economic agenda would pose a threat to the economy and the working class, the official said. In one of their first moves after taking control of the House following the November elections, Republicans advanced a bill to rescind new Internal Revenue Service spending that was approved in last year's tax legislation - a measure that passed along party lines.
Biden is expected to characterize the House GOP's economic proposals as a "MAGA economic plan," the White House official said - a reference to former President Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" 2016 campaign slogan. The president will criticize House Republicans' economic plan as one that would raise taxes on working people with a 30% national sales tax, increase gas prices, worsen inflation, and cut Social Security and Medicare, the official said.
During a speech on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Biden knocked House Republicans' tax proposals as "fiscally demented," targeting their push to revoke new IRS funding and a bill that would abolish the federal tax agency and replace income tax with a federal tax on consumption. Biden pledged to veto their legislation, which is all but certain to fail in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
The first bill the new House majority voted on, sponsored by Rep. Adrian Smith, R-Neb., would remove more than $70 billion in new IRS spending approved last year as part of Biden's Inflation Reduction Act, including money to hire 87,000 new agents, a frequent target of Republican criticism. The legislation passed in the House on a 221-210 party-line vote. A second bill that has drawn Biden's criticism, to abolish the IRS, eliminate income taxes and institute a federal consumption tax, was introduced this month by Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Ga.
Biden's speech Thursday comes a week after the U.S. government hit its statutory debt limit. The Treasury Department said it has begun resorting to "extraordinary measures" to pay the bills. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said those special financial tools to meet the country's obligations can continue until at least June 5. After they expire, Congress will need to act to prevent default.
Republicans are demanding spending cuts as a price for lifting the debt ceiling and averting a catastrophic default on U.S. debt. Republicans, however, are struggling to identify what should be on the chopping block, presenting a potentially career-defining challenge for newly elected House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com