Biden touts economic record, criticizes House Republicans

The president's first major economic address this year comes as the White House and Congress remain at odds over increasing the debt ceiling.

Biden touts economic record, criticizes House Republicans
Andrew Harnik / AP

In his first major economic speech this year, President Joe Biden defended his economic agenda and slammed Republicans over what he called "extreme" economic proposals. 

"They seem determined to be the party of chaos and catastrophe," said President Biden. 

Speaking at a union hall in Springfield, Virginia, the president warned that House Republicans' plans threaten America's economic future. 

A group of conservative House Republicans have introduced a bill to impose a 23% national sales tax in place of income, payroll and estate taxes. 

"It's not your father's breed of Republican. It's a different breed of cat. I call them extreme MAGA Republicans," said President Biden.

But many Republicans — including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy — do not support the measure. 

A UPS delivery truck.

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President Biden also focused on some of the accomplishments of his administration as he prepares to tout his legislative victories during his State of the Union address next month. 

"We have more work to do. But we're on right track. Roads and bridges are being built, factories are coming along, people are getting back to work, families breathing easier as my dad would say," said President Biden. 

The president's address comes as the White House and Congress remain at odds over increasing the debt ceiling

House Republicans are calling for spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt limit. 

"Your party has been in power for four years. You increased discretionary spending by 30%, $400 billion. I want to look the President in the eye and tell me there's not $1 of wasteful spending in government? Who believes that?" said McCarthy. 

But the White House and Senate Democrats are pushing for a "clean" debt ceiling increase. 

Leaving a meeting with the president this week, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries said Democrats were willing to negotiate spending separately from the debt limit. 

"We're ready to have a common-sense, forward-looking discussion about the future through the appropriate mechanism, the budget process," said Jeffries.

President Biden is expected to meet with Speaker McCarthy to discuss the debt limit, though a date for the talks has not been set.