Biden calls Cabinet meeting to tout summer’s accomplishments

By Betsy Klein and Jeremy Diamond, CNN

President Joe Biden on Tuesday urged his cabinet secretaries to quickly implement key legislative measures as he seized the opportunity to tout his administration’s recent legislative successes just two months before the midterm elections.

Tuesday’s meeting was the first time Biden’s cabinet had met since March and came as his administration moved to implement laws passed during the summer months, including bills aimed at boosting the domestic semiconductor production and the climate, health care and tax bill.

Biden said he called the meeting “to explain in detail how we’re going to implement each of these laws that we’ve worked so hard to get passed, and we got them passed, because passing these historic bills is only the first step in delivering them to the American people.

The president told reporters that Vice President Kamala Harris and Attorney General Merrick Garland would also describe at the meeting “everything our administration is doing to protect women and the right to choose in the wake of the Dobbs decision” overturning Roe versus Wade.

The president has taken a series of executive actions, but additional options remain limited as the White House encourages Congress to codify the landmark abortion decision, which currently lacks the 60 votes needed to pass.

Biden has stepped up his campaign trail appearances outside of Washington in recent days, traveling to the battleground state of Pennsylvania three times in the past week, in addition to a visit to the party. of Labor in Wisconsin. The final nine-week sprint to the midterm elections has begun in earnest, and Biden has embraced politics in person, touting his successes while portraying Republicans as ‘extreme’ as he seeks to frame the 2022 contests as a choice between Democratic policies and former President Donald Trump’s threats to democracy.

It’s a strategy that comes as the Biden administration rides the tailwinds after a string of positive headlines over the summer. In addition to the Semiconductor Chip Bill and the Climate, Tax, and Infrastructure Act, Congress passed a bill to strengthen protections for veterans exposed to toxic combustion hotspots. during their military service, as well as gun safety legislation as a result of the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting. Gasoline prices have also moderated somewhat from record highs in June.

The meeting comes as the administration outlined its plans for implementing the CHIPS bill, detailing key objectives before applications open for the $50 billion program early next year.

A strategy released Tuesday by the Commerce Department details four key goals for what it calls the “CHIPS for America” ​​program: “to establish and expand domestic production” of semiconductors, “to build an adequate and stable supply of drivers of mature nodes”. to invest in research and development of semiconductor technology and to create “tens of thousands of well-paying manufacturing jobs and over one hundred thousand construction jobs”.

Guidance on how to apply for the program will be published “by early February 2023”, with grants and loans “given on a rolling basis” next year.

About $28 billion of the funding will go to domestic chip production, which will be spent through “grants or cooperative agreements, or to subsidize loans or loan guarantees,” the Commerce Department said.

It will also help increase capacity for other “mature and current-generation chips, new and specialized technologies, and for semiconductor industry suppliers” with an investment of $10 billion.

And the administration will spend $11 billion on research and development initiatives, including “a national semiconductor technology center, a national advanced packaging manufacturing program, up to three new manufacturing institutes in the U.S. United States and NIST Metrology Research and Development Programs”.

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CNN’s Kate Sullivan contributed to this report.