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President tries to sell multi-trillion dollar agenda in Michigan

Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 6:46 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - With his agenda stuck in Washington gridlock, President Joe Biden is set to jet off to the Midwest Tuesday in an effort to sell his plans directly to Michiganders.

Air Force One is scheduled to touch down in Lansing just after noon, then it’s on to Howell where he’s expected to be joined by Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.).

On the agenda: selling Americans on his proposed infrastructure and social safety net reforms as well as their multi-trillion-dollar price tag.

At a press conference Monday, Biden argued America’s future depends on massive investments in our transportation systems, addressing climate change, education, and helping young parents enter and stay in the workforce.

“There’s a lot of things in the legislation I’m going to be talking about across the country that I think the American people overwhelmingly support,” Biden said.

Neither of Biden’s plans have overwhelming support in Congress though. Progressives and moderate Democrats continue to clash over just how much to spend, jeopardizing the chances for both proposals.

Nearly 20 Senate Republicans voted in favor of the infrastructure bill earlier this summer but it’s not nearly as popular with their G.O.P. colleagues in the House; Republican lawmakers universally oppose Biden’s $3.5-trillion dollar budget which contains the rest of the his agenda.

Gray Television asked Georgetown University Political Science Professor Mark Rom whether negotiating with the public will help Biden broker a deal in D.C.

“Biden wants to get the public on his side, and the very slim Congressional majority,” he said, “so, he’s going to appeal to both of them… say, this is good for America and this is also good for the moderate Democrats who are on the fence.”

Rom said Biden may choose to avoid the home states of Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) as he travels the country selling his plans. Both Manchin and Sinema argue Biden’s $3.5-trillion dollar budget proposal is simply too expensive.

Rom said rather than picking a political fight and potentially creating bad blood, it makes sense that the president would use his trips as a reward for those who are backing him, especially those like Rep. Slotkin who face tough re-election fights next Fall.

Biden is expected to return to from his Michigan trip Tuesday evening.

Along with the fight over infrastructure and the budget, Congress is only a couple of weeks away from bumping into its borrowing limit. If lawmakers can’t strike a deal, the country will default on its debts, spurring an economic crisis of their own making.

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