Biden’s speech on ‘fiscal cliff’ was too much, Biden says ‘not the right time’
Biden made his first major political speech in almost three months at a Democratic gathering in Boston.
He called for a balanced budget amendment, an end to sequestration and for tax reform to provide jobs, pay down debt and ease economic hardship.
Biden spoke about the fiscal cliff, which he called “an awful lot of pain,” and the need to take care of Americans, particularly the poor.
He also blamed the GOP for failing to reach a deal with President Donald Trump.
“We’ve seen in the last few days that this administration has failed to reach an agreement with President Trump on the debt ceiling, and it’s very clear that the president’s negotiating team was not listening to us,” Biden said.
He criticized the GOP’s refusal to provide a budget, saying that the budget “has been the biggest problem that we have in the country.”
“We have to make sure that the American people are going to have a budget in 2021 that’s just as good as what the House and Senate and the president agreed to,” Biden told the gathering of the Massachusetts Democrats.
Biden’s economic speech comes as he and Trump are embroiled in a standoff over the debt limit.
The debt ceiling will expire on March 31, 2018, with the country on track to be $16.8 trillion in the red.
A new president, Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, is seeking to pass a budget that increases taxes and raises spending.
Trump has threatened to veto a budget passed by the House that would increase taxes on businesses and individuals, but that plan failed to gain traction in the Senate.
Trump said Wednesday that he wants to avoid a “fiscal crisis” by raising taxes on business.
Biden said in his speech that a “balanced budget” was “not the wrong time” to raise taxes.
“The way to avoid that crisis is to keep your nose to the grindstone, to make America’s economy great again,” Biden added.
Biden also addressed the opioid epidemic, saying it’s not the president or his administration’s responsibility to address the problem.
“There are many things that can be done to end this epidemic, and the American public deserves to know what is being done, so that they can be informed and have a say,” Biden wrote.
He blamed Republicans for refusing to fund essential health care for low-income people and said the GOP is using a “lame duck Congress” to pass bills to protect the interests of special interests.
Biden praised President-elect Donald Trump and the Democratic Party for the support they’ve given him during the campaign.
“Our job is not to change the president, our job is to change how we conduct ourselves,” Biden continued.
“And we will not be silent as the American dream is being destroyed by greed, arrogance and cruelty.”
Biden said he will be making his first public remarks since the election.