With an election year looming and Congress all but wrapping up its business for 2023, the White House circulated a memo Monday accusing Republicans of pushing weak economic policies and an “extreme” political agenda — prompting counter-attacks from the Capitol Hill GOP.
“Over the past three years, the president has overseen an historic crisis at our Southern border, which can be traced directly back to the administration’s policies,” Raj Shah, House Speaker Mike Johnson’s deputy chief of staff for communications, told The Post.
Shah also cited a “massive spike of inflation which is forcing the average family to pay over $11,400 in higher costs, and a weak foreign policy that has emboldened America’s enemies across the globe.”
“Far from progress, the president’s record has been a disaster for the American people,” he added.
Biden administration communications director Ben LaBolt’s missive had celebrated the Biden administration for having “delivered meaningful progress for hardworking Americans in 2023.”
The four-page memo touted efforts over the course of the year to raise wages, eliminate so-called “junk fees,” lower unemployment and cut prescription drug as well as energy costs, along with the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which was celebrated as “the largest investment in climate action ever.”
“Meanwhile, extreme Congressional Republicans show each day that they don’t have a plan to lower costs for families. Their only plan is trillions of dollars of tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations, saddling taxpayers with more debt,” LaBolt’s memo states.
“They want to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act [to] try to block this Administration from lowering the costs of insulin and prescription drugs and undo the progress we’re making on clean energy. They’re still trying to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid,” it adds.
The memo comes as Senate Republicans are still negotiating with the White House over a $106 billion supplemental national security package to aid Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and US border enforcement, with the talks expected to extend into next year.
GOP senators have conditioned passage on reforms to asylum policies, among other considerations, after more than 2.47 million migrants came into the country over the southwest border in fiscal year 2023, US Customs and Border Protection data show.
House Republicans have already begun their holiday recess after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky assured Johnson (R-La.) in a closed-door meeting that military assistance would not run out before the end of the year.
The Monday memo, which makes no mention of immigration issues, renewed some talking points the White House put out before Thanksgiving that highlighted a reduction over the past year in gas and travel expenses, grocery prices and other costs for consumers.
Biden, 81, oversaw a 40-year inflationary high last year, but the White House has pointed out that wages for American workers remain higher than their pre-pandemic levels.
Republicans and conservative commentators have countered that real wages, meaning workers’ pay adjusted for inflation, have decreased several percentage points since the president took office.
“President Biden’s economic record is so bad that even he won’t put his name on it anymore,” said Senate GOP Conference Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.). “Bidenomics sent prices to record highs and the president’s approval rating to record lows. Joe Biden is the president of high prices, and Americans will make him pay the price for it in November.”
“Americans are paying far more for food and other necessities than they have in generations, our southern border has been thrown open to a tsunami of illegal immigration and human trafficking, and President Biden scrambles to send billions of our tax dollars to foreign nations,” added Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah.). “American families deserve better leadership.”
Biden’s approval rating hit one of its lowest figures of his administration this month, when a Monmouth University survey found just 34% approve of his job performance, compared with 61% who disapprove.
Vice President Kamala Harris enjoyed a slightly higher 37% approval rating, with 57% disapproving of her job performance.
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