Politics

Biden strikes campaign tones in his speech to House Democrats

BALTIMORE — President Joe Biden has not announced whether he runs for yet another term, but his speech to a gathering of House Democrats here Wednesday sounded a lot like a stump speech in 2024.

Biden dared House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of California reveal the Republican budget full of cuts, GOP Sen. Rick Scotts scoffed reversal on targeting Social Security and Medicare and bashed “MAGA Republicans” as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia. an acolyte of former President Donald Trump who recently called for a “national divorce” between red states and blue states.

“A little bit more of Marjorie Taylor Greene and a few more and you’ll have a lot of Republicans running our way,” Biden said of GOP voters in 2024. “Isn’t she great?”

House Democrats laughed and clapped.

Biden also claimed credit for drugmaker Eli Lilly’s announces Wednesday that it would cap the price of insulin at $35 a month.

“Here’s the deal. I called on the prescription drug companies to bring the price of insulin down to $35 for everyone – not just seniors. And today, Eli Lilly, the largest producer of insulin in the United States, agreed to do just that: $35,” said Biden.

“But guess what that means? Every other company that makes insulin will have to drop their prices to 35 because they can’t compete.”

Biden and House Democrats huddled together at a hotel in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor Wednesday night as the party plans a messaging strategy to help it keep the White House and win back the House majority next year. On Thursday, Biden is scheduled to meet with Senate Democrats on Capitol Hill.

Later this week, the Republicans will welcome Trump at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor in Maryland, just outside the nation’s capital.

Some Democrats have expressed frustration on a lack of coordination between the White House and Democratic lawmakers as they try to communicate their legislative victories over the past two years to voters.

At the gathering here, Biden outlined how Democrats could improve their cooperation as they begin to see the fruits of the infrastructure package, a gun reform bill, the CHIPS and Science Act and the climate and health care bill known as the Inflation Reduction Act.

Biden said a subgroup of his cabinet will work closely with a new group of House leaders, called the Regional Leadership Council, to coordinate events around the country to promote things like infrastructure cuts and the awarding of federal grants — events that could help Democrats are running for re-election.

“Folks, you all know how much we’ve gotten done. A lot of the country still doesn’t know,” he said. “That’s why the big job ahead of us is to implement the laws that we passed so that people start to see it in their lives.”

US President Joe Biden speaks during the House Democratic Caucus Issues Conference at the Hyatt Regency Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland on March 1, 2023. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP - Getty Images)

US President Joe Biden speaks during the House Democratic Caucus Issues Conference at the Hyatt Regency Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland on March 1, 2023. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP – Getty Images)

“I promised to work with you and coordinate with you to ensure that the implementation of these laws is done effectively and to let the American people know who did it as they feel the benefits of the investment — you did it.”

During the three-day conference, Democrats will also hear from Vice President Kamala Harris and top administration officials, including Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo; Biden’s infrastructure czar, Mitch Landrieu; Environmental Protection Agency administrator Michael Regan; and two former House Democrats, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge.

Biden was preceded on Wednesday’s program by Wes Moore, Maryland’s first black governor. Former House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., described Moore, an Afghanistan war veteran and Rhodes Scholar, as “one of the most exciting leaders in our country,” and many have discussed him as a future presidential candidate.

“Now more than ever, the United States Congress actually reflects the beautiful diversity of the country. Now more than ever, this government looks like the people it serves,” Moore said.

“A government that looks like the people helps deliver for the people it represents.”

Opening the “People Over Politics” conference call, several party leaders said the goal for the next two years is to win back control of the House — and put Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York in the speaker’s office.

“Democrats in the House are united, focused, fired up and ready to go to work to continue putting people above politics. Over the course of the last Congress, we were able to deliver significant victories for the American people,” Jeffries said to reporters Wednesday, rattling off bills that have been signed into law over the past two years.

“It’s an agenda that we will stand behind, continue to bring to life as we move it forward this year and through the rest of this Congress,” Jeffries said.

Democrats lost their majority in the House of Representatives in the 2022 midterms, but their better-than-expected showing put them in a prime position to retake the chamber next year.

Rep. Suzan DelBene of Washington, the head of the House Democrats’ campaign arm this election cycle, noted that with Jennifer McClellan’s win Last week in Virginia, Democrats need to pick up just five net seats to take back the House next year.

Republicans, she said, control 18 House seats in districts that Biden won in 2020, giving Democrats “an incredible opportunity.”

“The American people are with us. We have incredible momentum,” she said. “We came out of the last election incredibly strong with momentum. And we are working hard to continue to ensure that our message is heard by the American people and that we hold Republicans accountable for their extreme agenda.”

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com

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