President Biden was visiting former President Jimmy Carter, an old friend, when he traveled to Georgia Thursday to set his $ 4 trillion economic agenda.
The day after he used his first address to Congress to call for the swift adoption of his plans to spend heavy spending on infrastructure, childcare, paid vacation and other efforts to boost economic competitiveness, Mr. Biden hosted a car rally in Duluth, Ga., for his 100th day in office.
The president promoted the $ 1.9 trillion Economic Aid Act he signed in March and enacted the two-part plan for longer-term investment in the economy that he had put in place over the past two weeks. His audience included people in about 315 cars. His remarks were briefly interrupted by protesters calling on him to end immigration and customs control.
Mr Biden thanked the Georgia voters for electing Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, who overturned the rest of the Chamber in January for the Democrats and allowed him to adopt a far more ambitious economic bailout when he took office than would have been most likely possible a divided congress.
“We are especially grateful to the people of Georgia,” said the president. “Because of your two senators, the rest of America has been able to get the help they have been getting. The American rescue plan would not have passed. So much we’ve done like getting people’s checks probably wouldn’t have happened. So if you ever wonder if elections make a difference, think about what you did here in Georgia: when you voted for Ossoff and Warnock, you started changing the environment. “
Mr Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and the President’s Cabinet are starting a tour after the speech to push through next week’s economic plans. Administrative officials said the focus would be on celebrating the accelerating pace of Covid-19 vaccinations since Mr Biden took office and the recovery in economic activity.
The President will also urge Congress to pass a comprehensive package of tax cuts and spending programs designed to address long-term economic inequalities, create jobs, and give more Americans flexibility in work-life balance. Recent plans, detailed on Wednesday by Mr Biden, include efforts to cut childcare costs, the creation of a federal paid vacation program, a free community college, a universal preschool garden and expanded poverty alleviation efforts.
“He and the First Lady are returning to Georgia to talk about how to get America back on track,” Karine Jean-Pierre, assistant secretary, told reporters as they traveled to the state.
First, however, Mr. Biden made a detour to Plains, Georgia, where Mr. Carter lives with his wife, Rosalynn Carter. Mr. Carter, the longest living former president, is 96 years old and a cancer survivor. He stayed largely out of the public eye during the coronavirus pandemic, despite appearing in a parade for his birthday in October. He did not attend Mr. Biden’s inauguration in January and the President had promised to visit him.
“This is a longstanding friendship,” said Ms. Jean-Pierre. “They said they would try to see each other after the inauguration.”
Mr. Biden was the first Senator to endorse Mr. Carter’s bid for the presidency in 1976 when Mr. Carter was the governor of Georgia and was not considered a favorite for the Democratic nomination. Mr. Biden recalled that confirmation as part of a short video message he recorded earlier this month for the film crew behind “Carterland,” a documentary about the Carter Administration.
“Some of my Senate colleagues thought it was youthful exuberance,” Biden said in the video. “Well, I was exuberant, but like I said at the time, ‘Jimmy’s not just a bright smile. He can win and appeal to more populations than any other person. ‘“
At the embassy, the President welcomed the work of Mr. Carter in office and after his defeat by Ronald Reagan in 1980, and praised Mr. Carter for working to eradicate disease and shelter the poor while still finding time, Sunday school to teach. Mr. Biden said Mr. Carter called him the night before his inauguration to wish him well and to say he would be spiritually there.
“Put simply,” Mr. Biden said to Mr. Carter and Mrs. Carter at the end of the video, “we love you and God bless you both.”
The visit between the two families on Thursday lasted less than an hour. Mr. Biden’s motorcade arrived at the Carter’s home at 2:30 p.m. from Jimmy Carter Regional Airport. A pool reporter spotted Mrs. Carter in a white top and a walker on the porch. There was no sign of Mr. Carter.
Zach Montague contributed to the coverage.