U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday will address the impact of federal budget cuts and a looming government shutdown on the American people, in what aides described as a major economic speech, with less than three weeks before funding for the government runs out.
The Republican-controlled House and the Democratic-controlled Senate are due to be in session for about 12 days before funding expires on Sept. 30.
The main bone of contention among House Republicans is a demand to cut spending for fiscal 2024 to $1.47 trillion -- about $120 billion less than Biden and Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy agreed in May. The White House and Senate leaders - including top Republican Mitch McConnell - have rejected that demand.
"Today, the President will explain how these harmful cuts fit into the larger Republican budget plan...and what that plan would mean for the American people," the White House said in a statement.
The White House will spend "much of this fall" laying out the Republican budget plan, which they say includes lowering taxes for the rich and cuts to programs such as Social Security and Medicare.
Whether Biden's economic message is resonating with the American people remains an open question. Democratic economists, pollsters and officials have said Biden is struggling to convince most of the country of the strength of his economic stewardship, even when he presides over what is by all indicators a strong economy.
In June, Biden tried to flip skeptical Americans on his economic plan by re-introducing his vision of middle-class American prosperity. That includes taxing the wealthy to invest in areas critical to national security, including semiconductors; educating workers; and improving economic competition.
Polling in August from the Democratic organization Navigator Research found that 25% of Americans support Biden's major actions, such as the Inflation Reduction Act, but still think the president is doing a poor job handling the economy
(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)