“‘There’s nothing that the president sent to Capitol Hill that he did not put before the voters in the 2020 campaign.’”
— Ron Klain, the Biden White House’s chief of staff
That was President Joe Biden’s White House chief of staff, Ron Klain, as he spoke Wednesday afternoon at an Economic Club of Washington, D.C., event.
Klain’s remark came in response to a question from David Rubenstein, who is the Economic Club’s chairman as well as the co-chairman of the Carlyle Group CG, the private equity giant. Rubenstein had asked him to give his take on the view that Biden “campaigned as a moderate, but he’s governing more to the left than people expected.”
“That criticism wipes out the history of the 2020 campaign,” Klain also said, while responding to the question.
“Our economic agenda is the economic agenda he ran on, and 81 million Americans voted for when they elected him,” Klain added. “In fact, if anything, we’ve trimmed that agenda back. The Build Back Better plan that we sent to Capitol Hill was significantly smaller than even the one we campaigned on.”
In his State of the Union speech on Tuesday night, Biden made a fresh sales pitch for parts of his Build Back Better plan — a social-spending and climate package that stalled in the Senate in December. Casting his proposals as ways to fight inflation, he talked up clean-energy
incentives, a cap on what families must pay for child care, efforts to lower drug prices and more.
While the president pushed such proposals in the speech, he did not, however, use the name Build Back Better. Biden instead spoke of “building a better America.”
closed sharply higher on Wednesday, as Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell outlined plans to begin raising interest rates to address inflation, but played down the prospect of a larger-than-usual hike this month.