Biden prepares economic pitch with energy focus

By Robin Bravender | 06/27/2023 04:03 PM EDT

The White House is billing President Joe Biden’s upcoming speech in Chicago as a “major address” to highlight his economic vision.

President Joe Biden

President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with his "Investing in America Cabinet" in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on May 5 in Washington. Evan Vucci/AP Photo

President Joe Biden is slated to make a speech in Chicago on Wednesday touting his economic policies, including federal investments in clean energy technologies.

Top White House officials are previewing the speech in Chicago as a “major address” where the president will discuss his economic vision, which the administration is dubbing “Bidenomics.” He’ll lay out “his vision for growing the economy from the middle out and the bottom up, not the top-down,” according to the White House.

Clean energy investments fueled by the climate law enacted last year are expected to be central to his speech.


“We’re making smart investments in America in sectors that are critical to our economic and national security, focusing on infrastructure, clean energy and semiconductors and doing it in a way that catalyzes more private investment, not less,” Lael Brainard, director of the National Economic Council, told reporters Tuesday at the White House.

With the 2024 presidential election looming, Biden is attempting to rally public support for his administration’s policies, including the investments included in the massive climate and energy law Democrats have dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act.

“We’re focused on implementing the incredible pieces of historic legislation this president has gotten done over the last 2 ½ years and making the case that this is the kind of strategy we need to continue to put … the pedal to the metal on, so that we can continue this economic progress and not risk undercutting all of that,” said White House principal deputy press secretary Olivia Dalton.

She pointed to House Republicans’ efforts to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act’s clean energy investments.

Dalton responded to reports that Ford Motor Co. plans to lay off at least 1,000 salaried employees and contract workers in North America. The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday reported that the layoffs were the auto giant’s latest effort to defray the cost of investing in electric vehicles.

“Certainly anytime somebody loses a job, loses a paycheck, that’s something we’re concerned about. The president knows that deeply and personally, what that is like for a family,” Dalton said.

More broadly, she said of the administration’s climate and energy investments, “We are simultaneously moving his ambitious climate agenda forward” while “also bringing clean energy jobs and manufacturing jobs and supply chains back to the United States by the hundreds of thousands.”