Biden cites unexpectedly strong jobs report and agitation over Senate spending bill

President Joe Biden celebrated Friday stronger than expected job growth Democrats are looking to pass a major spending bill focused on climate, health care and tax policies in July as a strong economic signal.

Speaking from the Blue Room balcony as he is still isolated with COVID, Biden said 10 million jobs were created since he entered office, out of the 528,000 jobs added in July.

“This is the fastest job growth in history,” he said. “Today, we matched the lowest unemployment rate in America in the last 50 years: 3.5%.”

White House officials initially prepared reporters for figures indicating a slowdown in growth, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics report showed a significant increase in the 372,000 jobs added in the month of June.

Marking a week of political victories, Biden also won over low gas prices, as costs at the pump have dropped for 50 consecutive days.

Still, he acknowledged that many Americans are still feeling the pain of inflation.

“Now, I know people will hear today’s extraordinary jobs report and say they don’t see it, they don’t feel it in their lives,” he admitted. “I know how hard it is. I know it’s hard to feel good about job creation when you already have a job, and you’re dealing with rising prices, food and gas, and more “

More relief could come soon, he said, from the Inflation Reduction Act — a $740 billion spending bill Democrats want to go through a fast-track process known as reconciliation.

Biden took note of provisions in the bill that would allow Medicare to negotiate the prices of prescription drugs and provide incentives for Americans to invest in clean energy.

Photo: In this July 28, 2022, file photo, President Joe Biden listens during a meeting with CEOs at the South Court Auditorium on the White House complex in Washington, DC

In this July 28, 2022, file photo, President Joe Biden listens during a meeting with CEOs at the South Court Auditorium on the White House complex in Washington, DC

Susan Walsh / AP, FILE

The president said he is “on the cusp” of passing legislation after Sen. Kirsten Cinema, D-Ariz., announced on Thursday that he would move forward with the bill after getting the tax provision removed from the legislative text.

Cinema was the final holdout and is a crucial vote as Democrats need the support of all 50 caucus members to pass the bill amid opposition to the expected consensus from Republicans in the chamber.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D.N.Y., prepares the first vote to begin debate on the bill on Saturday afternoon.

Biden said the bill is a “game changer for working families and our economy”.

“You know, I know most families are focused on just putting three meals on the table, taking care of their kids, and paying their bills,” he said. “It’s my job to help you do that.”

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