Joe Biden is looking to sign off for the Easter break on an upbeat note with today’s trip to an engineering research complex in North Carolina to plug his “building a better America” plans.
The president will tout the bipartisan innovation act, a bill designed to boost American manufacturing and global technological leadership, but his remarks are sure to cover wider issues of the US economy and jobs growth.
Inflation, immigration and the Ukraine war are all weighing on his administration, and Biden is seeking to kickstart his stalled domestic agenda with the appearance in Greensboro before heading off to Camp David to spend the Easter holiday.
The president, however, will board Air Force One shortly with more bad news ringing in his ears – a new Quinnipiac poll puts Biden’s approval rating at only 33%, matching his previous low from January, with 54% disapproving of the job he’s doing.
Biden has struggled with his domestic agenda: his flagship $2tn Build Back Better initiative boosting social spending and addressing the climate crisis was opposed by Republicans and ultimately killed by the moderate Democratic senator Joe Manchin, whose vote would have been crucial in the divided 50-50 chamber.
While progress at home has stalled, inflation has soared to 8.5%, a 41-year high, with analysts saying the president is failing with his messaging. That’s why he’ll be talking up the bipartisan nature of the innovation act, which has Republican support in both the House and Senate.
White House experts are shifting blame for the country’s economic woes, including soaring inflation, away from Biden. The council of economic advisers’ annual report published this morning says the Ukraine war and climate crisis are contributory. We’ll have more on that shortly.
Meanwhile, Karine Jean-Pierre, the deputy White House press secretary, will conduct the final briefing of the week, a so-called gaggle aboard Air Force One as Biden heads for North Carolina.