(WASHINGTON) — On the first anniversary of his “Inflation Reduction Act” becoming law, President Joe Biden took a victory lap that was likely a preview of his campaign’s message over the next year.
At a celebration in the White House East Room, Biden branded the $740 billion climate, health and tax bill as one of the “most significant laws” ever enacted.
“Taking on the special interests and winning,” the president said. “Delivering on promises that have long been made to the American people to lower cost for families, especially health care costs; increase America’s energy security; restore fairness to a tax code; create good paying jobs here in America; and to address the potential threat of climate crisis.”
Surrounded by people who the White House said had benefited from the law, Biden gave a speech that capped a recent multi-state blitz and reflected his campaign strategy heading into 2024: persuade voters that positive broader economic trends are actually helping them on an individual level — and take credit for it.
The White House has politically branded the approach “Bidenomics” but Biden mentioned the message just once.
“‘Bidenomics’ is anchored in what’s always worked best for the country, investing in America, investing in Americans,” he said. “Because when we invest in ourselves, when we strengthen the middle class, we see stronger economic growth that benefits everybody.”
He repeatedly focused on job creation during his administration, noting the historically low unemployment rate – which Democrats hope will help them in next year’s election.
“I’ve long said, when I think climate – not a joke – I think jobs, I think jobs,” he said.
He took a shot at congressional Republicans and GOP presidential candidates who regularly blast his handling of the economy.
“And all we hear from our friends on the other side of the aisle is what they claim is what’s wrong with America. Let me tell you and let me tell you, they’re telling us America is failing — failing. They’re dead wrong. They’re dead wrong. America isn’t failing, America is winning,” he said.
Despite several positive economic indicators, polls have shown Biden continues to be marred by low approval numbers on the issue. One poll conducted earlier this year by ABC News and the Washington Post found Americans 54-36% said former President Donald Trump did a better job handling the economy when he was in office than Biden’s done so far.
At the White House Wednesday to help sell the Inflation Reduction Act were former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who ushered it through the Democrat-led Congress last year.
“This is such a remarkable accomplishment for our country,” Pelosi said in brief remarks, in which she told Biden: “Mr. President, this is your day.”
Biden, who said Republicans were focused on what’s wrong with America,” swiped at the party for unanimously voting against the legislation.
“This law is transformative and it fell entirely to Democrats to deliver it,” he said.
Republicans, who have made inflation a key attack against Biden, have criticized the Inflation Reduction Act as prices continue to be higher than pre-pandemic levels.
Biden recently expressed regret for the title of the law during a campaign fundraiser.
“I wish I hadn’t called it that,” Biden said at the Aug. 10 event, according to pool reporters. “It has less to do with inflation than it does providing alternatives to economic growth.”
Biden on Wednesday continued to argue the Inflation Reduction Act has led to a manufacturing boom that will bring more union jobs back to the U.S.
“Our economy stronger and better than any industrial nation in the world right now. But we have more work to do,” Biden said. “We have a plan that’s turning things around. The Inflation Reduction Act is a part of that plan. Bidenomics is just another way of saying restoring the American dream.”
ABC News’ Alexandra Hutzler and Fritz Farrow contributed to this report.
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