President Joe Biden touted a strong September jobs report as evidence his agenda is working and said midterm voters faced a choice this November between his vision and a Republican plan that favors the wealthy.
“There’s different ways of looking at our country. One is the view from Park Avenue, which says help the very wealthy and maybe it’ll trickle down to everyone else. Park Avenue’s doing well, we’re all doing well,” said Biden at an event Friday at the Volvo Group Powertrain Operations in Hagerstown, Maryland.
“The other view is from Scranton, Pennsylvania, where I grew up,” he added. “The belief that the backbone of America, the people who get up every single morning and go to work and break their necks making a living, the working-class and the middle-class, that’s who built this country.”
Biden’s comments came after the latest jobs report showed nonfarm payrolls increased 263,000 in September, and the unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped to 3.5%, matching a five-decade low. The president has touted the strong job numbers, arguing his economic policies are working to keep the labor market resilient.
Robust job growth is one of his core arguments to voters ahead of the midterm elections, just one month away, which will determine if Democrats keep control of the House and Senate. Biden said congressional Republicans had assailed his policies without laying out what they would do to grow the economy.
“They love to attack the Democrats for what we’ve done. But they really don’t want to say what their plan is,” he said. “What’s their platform if they take control of Congress?” Read more from Jordan Fabian and Jenny Leonard.
NATO Once Feared a Putin Victory; Now It Worries Over His Defeat
Russia’s latest wave of threats to use nuclear weapons and cut energy supplies even further so far haven’t scared off Ukraine’s allies in the US and Europe, only hardening their will to see Kyiv win. What they’re not so sure about is whether they want Vladimir Putin to lose.
Biden brought the tension into the open Thursday, warning that the Russian president’s nuclear threats may not be a bluff as his other options for salvaging his invasion of Ukraine narrow.
“We’re trying to figure out what is Putin’s off-ramp? Where does he get off? Where does he find a way out?” the US president said Thursday at a fundraiser in New York City. “Where does he find himself in a position that he does not, not only lose face but lose significant power in Russia?”
For the moment, Putin has backed himself further into a corner, effectively ruling out talks with his annexation of occupied Ukrainian lands and redoubling his commitment to fight with the order to call up at least 300,000 reservists despite rising consternation at home. Read more from Rosalind Mathieson.
As the Western world is trying to gauge whether Putin is willing to break the 77-year-long taboo against deploying nuclear weapons, the US has stayed silent about its response—albeit with warnings of “catastrophic” and “severe” consequences. Bloomberg Government’s Roxana Tiron explains why preventing nuclear “Armageddon” hinges on the United States’ policy of ambiguity.
More on Russian and Ukraine
- Biden’s warning that Putin’s nuclear threats could lead to “Armageddon” was not based on any new intelligence assessments about the Russian leader’s intent to use the weapons, Biden’s top spokeswoman said. Read more.
- Ukrainian troops are unleashing a renewed counteroffensive in the southern Kherson region, adding to the woes of Putin and his generals after last week’s territorial setbacks in the northeast. Read more.
- The European Union approved a fresh package of sanctions against Russia that includes a price cap on oil sales. Get the latest updates on the war in Ukraine here
Around the Administration
The EU and US moved a step closer to securing the privacy of transatlantic data flows as Biden moved to end years of uncertainty and allow thousands of companies to legally move customer data across the Atlantic.
The Biden administration announced new restrictions on China’s access to US semiconductor technology, escalating tensions between the two countries and adding fresh complications to an industry reeling from a slump in demand.
A final rule to ensure that IRS regulations are consistent with “the policy to protect and strengthen” the Affordable Care Act has cleared review by the White House Office of Management and Budget. It can be issued at any time.
The Pentagon approved a national security waiver to restart F-35 fighter deliveries, Politico said, citing three people with direct knowledge of the decision. Lockheed Martin previously discovered a metal component in the jet had come from China.
The marijuana industry’s excitement over Biden’s call to review the drug’s federal legal status was quickly tempered by uncertainties about what changes would be made and how long they might take.
What Else to Know
- Georgia’s second-highest ranking Republican says the GOP has only itself to blame for betting on Herschel Walker as a candidate to unseat Senator Raphael Warnock (D) and potentially squandering a chance for the party to win control of the US Senate. Read more.
- The US Federal Trade Commission is narrowing its case against Meta’s proposed acquisition of virtual reality app Within Unlimited, according to a court filing. Read more.
- A UN body will aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from international aviation to net-zero by 2050 and will use a new emissions limit for its flagship climate change program. Read more.
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