Mar 28, 2023
Biden Praises New Chip Factory in Trip to 2024 Battleground
(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden touted legislation providing subsidies for semiconductors Tuesday in North Carolina, highlighting his economic agenda in a crucial battleground state for the upcoming presidential election.
Biden visited the Durham factory of Wolfspeed Inc., a chip manufacturer, which has announced plans to invest $5 billion and create 1,800 new jobs, citing the investment as the result of his policies and warning that congressional Republicans would roll back those economic gains.
“Federal investment attracts private sector investment across jobs and industries. And demonstrates we’re all in this together,” Biden said. “Wolfspeed is making an investment that will further strengthen their supply chain, the largest investment amount in manufacturing in North Carolina history.”
The president’s visit is part of a broader push over the next three weeks by top administration officials to visit more than 20 states – including swing states like Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania – to tout Biden’s legislative accomplishments. The effort comes as Biden aides are preparing for the president to formally declare his reelection bid, in which his economic record will take center stage.
Biden said over $435 billion in private sector manufacturing commitments have been made since he took office, investments he said would strengthen the US supply chain, help cut prices for consumers and create high-paying jobs for workers.
Biden has sought to frame the chip manufacturing subsidies not only as important to combat Chinese firms and fight inflation, but also as a driver for employment and issues like childcare. And he touted investments in infrastructure, including with funding from a bipartisan bill he signed in 2021, citing plans to replace the Alligator River Bridge in North Carolina.
Biden’s trips outside Washington have taken on an increasingly campaign-like tone, allowing the president to defend his record and hit at congressional Republicans amid a standoff over federal spending and raising the debt limit.
Biden’s remarks came hours after Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy sent a letter urging the president to come to the table for talks about raising the debt ceiling. The House GOP is seeking sharp spending cuts in exchange for doing so, while Biden has insisted he will not negotiate.
“I am incredibly concerned that you are putting an already fragile economy in jeopardy by insisting upon your extreme position of refusing to negotiate any meaningful changes to out of control spending alongside an increase of the debt limit,” McCarthy said.
Biden in Durham said “extreme MAGA Republicans are threatening to undo all this progress.”
“They’re putting our economy in jeopardy by threatening to refuse to pay America’s bills,” he said.
Earlier: McCarthy Scolds Biden on US Debt Ceiling, Demands Talks
Participants in the three-week tour, which the White House is dubbing the “Investing in America Tour,” include Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and cabinet officials, including Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
Michael Regan, the EPA administrator who has been bandied about as a potential Democratic candidate in the state’s 2024 governor’s race, is also expected to visit North Carolina over the next week to talk about efforts to ensure clean drinking water, while Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo will travel there to tour a fiber optic cable manufacturer.
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