BALTIMORE – President Joe Biden has yet to announce whether he will run for a second term, but his speech to a caucus of House Democrats here on Wednesday sounded a lot like a 2024 campaign speech.
Biden challenged House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of California to reveal the Republicans’ budget full of spending cuts, mocked Republican Sen. Rick Scott’s reversal by targeting Social Security and Medicare and slammed to “MAGA Republicans” like 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 more Marjorie Taylor Greene and a little more and there will be a lot of Republicans coming our way,” Biden said of Republican voters in 2024. “Isn’t that amazing?”
House Democrats laughed and applauded.
Biden also took credit for drugmaker Eli Lilly announcing Wednesday that it would limit the cost of insulin to $35 a month.
“Here’s the deal. I called on prescription drug companies to lower the price of insulin to $35 for everyone, not just seniors. And today, Eli Lilly, the largest maker of insulin in the United States of America, agreed to do just that: $35,” Biden said.
“But guess what that means? Every other company that makes insulin will have to lower their prices to 35, because they can’t compete.”
Biden and House Democrats met 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 a House majority next year. On Thursday, Biden is scheduled to meet with Senate Democrats on Capitol Hill.
Later this week, Republicans will welcome Trump at the Conservative Political Action Conference at National Harbor in Maryland, just outside the nation’s capital.
Some Democrats have expressed frustration with the lack of coordination between the White House and Democratic lawmakers as they try to communicate to voters their legislative victories over the past two years.
In the meeting 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 health care and climate law known as Inflation Reduction Law.
Biden said a subgroup in his Cabinet will work closely with a new group of House leaders, called the Regional Leadership Council, on coordinating events across the country to promote things like infrastructure openings and the awarding of federal grants. , events that could help Democrats. run for re-election.
“Friends, you know how much we have done. Much of the country still doesn’t know it,” he said. “That’s why the big job ahead of us is to implement the laws that we pass, so that people start to see it in their lives.”
“I promised to partner with you and coordinate with you to make sure the implementation of these laws is carried out efficiently and 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 senior 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 show by Wes Moore, Maryland’s first black governor. Former House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., described Moore as an Afghanistan veteran and Rhodes Scholar as “one of the most exciting leaders in our country,” and has been mentioned by many as a future presidential candidate.
“Now more than ever, the United States Congress reflects the beautiful diversity of the country. Now more than ever, this government is like the people it serves,” Moore said.
“A government that looks like the people helps deliver for the people it represents.”
Opening the conference on “People Over Politics” issues, several party leaders said the goal for the next two years is to regain control of the House and put New York Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries in the speaker’s office.
“Democrats in the House are united, focused, excited, and ready to keep putting people on politics. During the last Congress, we were able to achieve significant victories for the American people,” Jeffries told reporters Wednesday, reciting bills enacted in the past two years.
“It’s an agenda that we will support, continue to bring to life, as we move forward this year and throughout the rest of this Congress,” Jeffries said.
Democrats lost their House majority in the 2022 midterms, but showing their better than expected put them in 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 victory last week in Virginia, Democrats need to win just five net seats to win back the House next anus.
Republicans, he said, control 18 House seats in the districts 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 make sure that the American people hear our message and that we hold the Republicans accountable for their extreme agenda.”