President Biden on Wednesday urged Democratic lawmakers to speak more about what the party has accomplished over the past two years as he prepares for re-election.
“Guys, you all know how much we’ve come, but a lot of the country still doesn’t know,” he said Wednesday at the Conference on Democrats in the House of Representatives in Baltimore.
Mr. Biden campaigned for passage of the American Rescue Plan, Infrastructure Bill, CHIPS and Science Act, PACT Act, Inflation Reduction Act and Respect for Marriage Act.
“If we haven’t done anything, implemented nothing other than what we’ve already passed and let people know who did it for them, we win,” he said. “We’re way beyond that. It’s not just about winning.”
Highlighting projects funded by the bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill, he held up a sign for the newly named Frederick Douglass Tunnel, which is being rebuilt in Baltimore. The sign had “President Joe Biden” printed at the top.
“We’ll let everyone know you did it,” he said. “These are the signs we’re going to put up.”
Mr. Biden said he would even appear alongside Republicans in their districts for ribbon-cutting ceremonies.
“The great task ahead of us is to implement the laws that we passed so that people start seeing it in their lives, all the benefits that are there because you produced it for them,” he said. “I have promised to work and coordinate with you to ensure that these laws are implemented efficiently and effectively. And let the American people know who did it when they feel the benefits of the investment. You did it.”
Days before Mr. Biden addressed Democrats in Baltimore, First Lady Jill Biden said he was “almost” left with picking a time and place to announce his reelection bid.
The President has criss-crossed the country in recent weeks touting his administration’s work on infrastructure, semiconductor technology, healthcare and other key issues.
During a goodwill trip to Africa last week, the first lady gave perhaps the strongest hint yet that her husband will be running for re-election.
“He says he’s not done yet,” the first lady said told the Associated Press in Nairobi. “He didn’t finish what he started. And that’s important.”
She added, “How many times does he have to say it for you to believe it?”
It was believed that Mr. Biden would likely announce shortly after his State of the Union address on Feb. 7, though winter is quickly turning to spring in Washington, as evidenced by the cherry blossoms already blooming around the nation’s capital.
The President’s speech to Democrats in Baltimore comes as he continues to struggle with his approval ratings. But those classifications appear unaffected by a US attorney’s investigation and a special counsel’s investigation into classified documents found at his former private office and home in Delaware. His approval rating is 44%, according to CBS News polls taken before and after CBS News ran the first story about the investigation.
One of the most pressing matters in Washington for the President right now is his fight to increase the debt ceiling, something that can only be done with the approval of Congress. With only months remaining before a potentially catastrophic default, Mr. Biden and Republicans must reach an agreement on how and under what conditions to raise the debt ceiling. The President has repeatedly criticized Republicans for not moving forward with a clean debt ceiling raise when they raised the debt ceiling under Trump.
“Remember, the last administration increased the federal debt by 25%,” the president said during a speech on health care in Virginia Beach Tuesday. “A 200 year debt, in four years they increased it by 25%, 200 years. And folks, how did Congress react? Well, in all honesty, they did the only thing responsible. You paid the debt. They voted three times to continue paying America’s bills, paying the debt with no preconditions, no crisis. If they paid the American debt back then, why in God’s name are they threatening not to pay it now?”