Home Uncategorized ‘Our job is not done,’ says Biden after a year

‘Our job is not done,’ says Biden after a year

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WASHINGTON, Jan 19 (Reuters) – President Joe Biden acknowledged American frustration as his first year in office ended on Wednesday, but said the United States was on track to meet the considerable challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and inflation.

“Our job is not done,” he said during a rare solo White House press conference on economic and health recovery from the pandemic. The president added that he thinks his administration could have done more on COVID testing.

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But the United States is on track to meet the daunting challenges of the pandemic and inflation, Biden said, citing job growth, low unemployment and growing new businesses.

Asked if he promised more than he could deliver on the 2020 election campaign, Biden was adamant: “I didn’t promise too much.”

For 2022, Biden has said he needs to leave the White House to speak more regularly to the American people.

“I’m going to get out of here more often. I don’t get the chance to look people in the eye,” he said, and “let them take a measure of who I am.”

Biden faces a slump in opinion polls as his fellow Democrats prepare for the Nov. 8 midterm elections in which their congressional majorities hang in the balance.

Two of Biden’s top legislative priorities — his economic and social spending program called Build Back Better and a federal voting rights bill — have languished.

U.S. President Joe Biden holds an official press conference in the East Room of the White House, in Washington, DC, U.S., January 19, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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Biden said a challenge he underestimated upon entering the White House was Republicans’ “firm” opposition to his presidency, which he called worse than it was when he was vice president under Barack Obama.

Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell “made it clear he would do anything to prevent Biden from being a success,” the president said, referring to himself in the third person.

“Name me one thing they’re for,” he said of the opposing side.

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel countered that “Biden has shown how deeply out of touch he is, saying the struggles Americans face every day aren’t real.”

Asked about polls showing him falling out of favor with some voters who backed him in 2020, Biden said, “I don’t believe in polls.”

But he acknowledged that Build Back Better was pretty much dead in its old form. Instead, the president said, he expected he could pass “large chunks” of this bill, if not the entire package.

Biden has raised concerns that Republicans could successfully undermine the legitimacy of the election this year.

Biden’s fellow Democrats are fighting to retain control of Congress in the upcoming election amid a flood of Republican-backed state laws that civil rights advocates say could suppress votes for blacks and other minorities.

“The increase in the prospect of it being illegitimate is directly proportional to our failure to pass these reforms,” Biden said of the federal voting rights law.

Biden held nine total press conferences in his first year in office, including six solo, a slower pace than his most recent predecessors, according to the U.S. Presidency Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara. .

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Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Heather Timmons, Howard Goller and Cynthia Osterman

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