Biden to rally support for flagging economic agenda in Michigan speech

Pres Biden visits Intl Union of Operating Engineers Local 324 training facility

Pres Biden visits Intl Union of Operating Engineers Local 324 training facility

President Biden is expected to highlight his economic agenda as one that ensures the United States is competitive with China, while saying the passage of both the infrastructure bill and Democrats’ reconciliation bill would give Americans a fair shot in the fast-evolving 21st century economy.

In remarks delivered Tuesday in Lansing, Michigan, Biden is expected to focus on how his economic agenda invests in what he calls the backbone of the country — the middle class.

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Biden is set to address two pieces of legislation pending in Congress – the bipartisan infrastructure deal and his Build Back Better bill. Biden is set to say the legislation would create good-paying union jobs across the nation, fix roads and bridges, install vehicle charging stations and more; while the Build Back Better plan would invest in American people, human infrastructure and generate economic growth.

Biden is expected to stress that the investments would ensure that the U.S. can compete with China.

The president will outline what could be a historic turning point for the nation and is expected to say America faces a choice between competitiveness and complacency.

President Biden holds his face mask and waves as he exits Air Force One at Capital Region International Airport, Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021, in Lansing, Michigan. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci / AP Newsroom)

The president is expected to specifically tout the investments in education in his Build Back Better plan, and will point to China’s investments in all levels of education. The president will say investments in education, as well as other provisions of the bill, like paid family leave and more, are key to competing with China.

Biden is expected to stress that the reconciliation bill will not add a penny to the national debt.

As for the Biden administration's approach to competing with China, the president spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping last month, and underscored the United States' "enduring interest in peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and the world."

Senior administration officials also said the two leaders discussed the responsibility of both nations "to ensure competition does not veer into conflict."

Biden administration officials have been engaging in tense bilateral talks with Beijing for months, amid years of torn ties between the U.S. and China. 

Biden, on the call, was not seeking outcomes or agreements, according to officials, but rather sought to set "guardrails for healthy competition."

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"Biden knows history will judge both leaders in how they manage this competition and takes this seriously," the official said. 

"While we remain in a competitive space, we don’t want that to veer into conflict," the official added, acknowledging that the U.S. is in a "competitive posture with China." 

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"That’s the dominant framework of this relationship," the official said. 

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