President Joe Biden delivered remarks Thursday on the economy as House Republicans launch an impeachment inquiry and a possible federal government shutdown.
Watch Biden’s remarks the player above.
“It’s about growing the economy from the middle out and bottom up instead of the top down,” he said. “Because when the middle class does well, the poor have a ladder up and the wealthy still do very well.”
Despite criticism from Republicans, Biden assured that the economy is in good shape, saying the U.S. has the lowest inflation rate of any major economy. He also criticized recent Republican spending bill proposals as well as broader “trickle down” economic policies.
“They hollowed out the main streets of America, and they did the same for the middle class. They blew up the deficit. It produced an anemic economic growth, if any growth at all. And it stripped the dignity and pride and hope out of a community, one after another,” he said.
Biden on Wednesday brushed off the House Republicans’ impeachment inquiry, saying the way he sees it, they launched the investigation against him because they want to shut down the federal government.
Biden, speaking at a Democratic fundraiser in Virginia, said that instead of being concerned about the probe, “I’m focused on the things the American people want me focused on.”
The president’s remarks were the first since Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced the launch of a Biden impeachment inquiry while the Republican House leader is also struggling to shore up votes to fund the government and prevent a federal shutdown.
“The best I can tell is they want to impeach me because they want to shut down the government,” Biden said.
He also made a reference to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., a top ally of his chief rival heading into the 2024 election, Donald Trump. “The first day she was elected, the first thing she wanted to do was impeach Biden,” he said.
“Look, I’ve got a job,” Biden told his audience. “I’ve got to deal with the issues that affect the American people every single, solitary day.”
McCarthy’s sudden decision to direct an impeachment inquiry into Biden over the business dealings of his son, Hunter, and the family finances has won over even the most reluctant Republicans, with some GOP lawmakers pushing for swift action while others expect it to drag into the 2024 election year.
McCarthy opened and closed a private meeting Wednesday of House Republicans justifying his reasoning for the inquiry sought by former President Trump.
The moment is a politically pivotal one for the embattled McCarthy, whose job is being targeted by Trump’s right-flank allies. He has already signaled potential charges of abuse of power, corruption and obstruction for possible articles of impeachment.
“There’s a lot of accusations out there you just want the answers to,” McCarthy told reporters at the Capitol.
The White House mobilized to fight what it called the “unprecedented, unfounded claims” against the president regarding his son, Hunter, and family finances.
Hard-right Republicans still want McCarthy to slash federal spending below the levels he and Biden agreed to as part of a budget deal earlier this year. And that stand risks a federal shutdown if they don’t fund the government by Sept. 30, when current money runs out.
Democrats are expected to oppose those Republican efforts as well as fight Biden’s impeachment.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who led the first impeachment of Trump, said McCarthy’s failure to bring the inquiry before the full House for a vote was “an acknowledgement that he lacks the support in his conference to move forward.”
“He is beholden to the more extreme elements,” Schiff said as lawmakers returned to Washington late Tuesday. “It is yet another indication of the weakness in the speakership and the degree by which he is manipulated by Donald Trump.”
Yet moderate Republicans representing districts that Biden won in 2020 over Trump and who are most at risk in next year’s election generally were supportive of McCarthy’s decision to launch the impeachment probe.
“I would have voted for it,” Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Calif., said about the impeachment inquiry.
Garcia said, “There’s smoke there so we have a requirement to go investigate that and see if there’s fire there.”
Rep. Nick LaLota of New York, another one of the Republicans from districts Biden won, said he wasn’t worried about any backlash back home.
“I think my constituents deserve some answers,” he said.