Biden takes on House GOP’s ‘thin’ midterm agenda

Biden’s speech is part of a larger, intensified effort by the president and the Democratic Party to capitalize on recent political victories and illustrate their differences with Republicans ahead of November’s midterm elections. The president’s remarks came hours after McCarthy’s event in suburban Pittsburgh, where he unveiled the House GOP platform, dubbed “the Pledge to America.”

“House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy visited Pennsylvania and unveiled what he calls a ‘Pledge to America.’ Now that’s a thin set of policy goals with little or no details that he says Republicans will sue if they regain control of Congress,” Biden said Friday to a packed auditorium at a Democratic National Committee event at the National Education Association headquarters in Washington.

He added: “In the space of nearly an hour, here are some of the things we haven’t heard: we haven’t heard him mention the right to choose, we haven’t heard mention Medicare, we didn’t hear him mention Social Security.

McCarthy’s plan focused on four main areas: the economy, crime and border security, education, and government accountability. There’s also a nod to the culture wars, with Republicans vowing to ensure “only women can compete in women’s sports.” But the document is generally light on specific policy details, making vague promises like protecting “the lives of unborn children and their mothers,” without explaining how they plan to do so.

During his Friday remarks, the president touted political victories since taking office, as well as vowing to codify Roe v. Wade, protect Social Security and pass an assault weapons ban — if Democrats keep control of Congress.

Biden specifically called on Republicans to support the false claim that Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election – which he said has become a litmus test for “swearing loyalty to Donald Trump”. The president said that while not all Republicans are “MAGA Republicans,” it is “obvious” that “MAGA Republicans” control the party. He also criticized Republicans for failing to condemn the insurgency and called out GOP members for supporting calls for FBI funding.

“Don’t tell me you support law enforcement if you can’t condemn what happened on January 6,” Biden said, referring to the 2021 Capitol riot, adding, “You You can’t be pro-law enforcement and pro-insurgency.You can’t pretend to be a party of law and order and call the people who attacked the police on January 6 patriots.

The president slammed Republican attempts to ban abortions, past GOP tax cuts — which he said “benefited the top 1 percent,” and party opposition to efforts he says , would make communities safer.

Democrats seized on a proposal from Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, that would implement a federal ban on abortion in most cases at 15 weeks gestation. And in Friday’s speech, Biden specifically delved into criticism of Republican attempts to restrict access to abortion — though it’s an issue he’s previously been reluctant to discuss at length. publicly.

“In 46 days, America will choose,” the president said. “If the Republicans take control (of) Congress, abortion will be banned. And by the way, it will initially be banned. But if they win Congress, I will veto it.”

The White House continues to target Republican Florida Sen. Rick Scott’s GOP agenda, which includes a requirement that federal legislation expire every five years unless reauthorized by Congress.

Biden criticized the House GOP’s goal of “longer, healthier lives for Americans” on Friday, saying it “sounds great,” but argued that’s not what the GOP stands for.

“Already 158 House Republicans have signed a Republican budget that will cut Medicare and Social Security,” Biden said.

Biden’s speech on Friday was part of a flurry of political appearances in the weeks remaining before the midterms. Democrats are hoping for a string of legislative victories and outcry from their base following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade gave impetus to their candidates.

Earlier this week, while in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, Biden attended several political fundraisers. Next Tuesday, the president is due to attend a DNC rally in Florida.

CNN’s Melanie Zanona and Phil Mattingly contributed to this report.

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