President Joe Biden will appear with Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin on Tuesday when he visits a union training center in Howell, Michigan.
You can watch the event live here on ClickOnDetroit -- here’s the schedule:
- 11:50 a.m. -- Biden departs Joint Base Andrews en route Lansing, Michigan
- 1:20 p.m. -- Biden arrives in Lansing, Michigan
- 3 p.m. -- Biden visits the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 324 training facility
Biden eager to get out of DC, push benefits of spending plan (AP)
President Joe Biden is shifting strategy to sell his ambitious social spending plans by traveling outside Washington and courting Democrats who have complained they felt left out of the process.
With his agenda in jeopardy on Capitol Hill, Biden on Tuesday will visit the Michigan district of a moderate Democratic lawmaker who has urged him to promote his proposals more aggressively to the public. Back in Washington, negotiations continue on a pair of bills to boost spending on safety net, health and environmental programs and infrastructure projects.
While there is cautious optimism about recent progress, no deal had been struck to bridge stark divides between moderates and progressives in the Democratic Party on the size and scope of the package. In recent weeks, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi worked unsuccessfully to secure passage of the bills, Biden stayed in Washington to cajole lawmakers and work phones.
Now, he’s trying to put the public focus on popular components of the bills rather than the inside-the-Beltway debate over their price tag.
The president will appear with Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin when he visits a union training center in Howell, Michigan, a reflection of the importance of securing moderates’ votes. Next to Biden, the Democrats with the most on the line over the shape and success of his spending plans are House members from swing districts whose reelections are essential if his party is to retain control of Congress.
Democratic legislators have warned that Biden’s bold ideas are getting lost in the party’s infighting and procedural skirmishes over the legislation.
“We must communicate to the country the transformative nature of the initiatives in the legislation,” Pelosi said in a letter to lawmakers ahead of Biden’s trip.
The visit to Slotkin’s district, narrowly carried by Republican Donald Trump in 2020, is part of the sales effort.
Slotkin supports a bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill that has passed the Senate but prefers passing it in the House before negotiating the broader $3.5 trillion package of social programs. She has indicated that she may vote to approve the broader bill sooner if it is fiscally responsible and can make a difference for families, her aides said, but she is not a guaranteed yes — which she planned to tell Biden on Tuesday.
“To be honest, it was hard for me to understand why leadership decided in the first place to tie the two bills together,” Slotkin recently told The Detroit News. “That’s not how we normally operate. It’s not my preference.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that after Biden spent considerable time in recent days deep in the messy negotiations over the bills, “now it’s also important to remind people, as the sausage-making has been kind of the dominant storyline for the last few weeks, what this is all about. Why he’s fighting so hard for it.”