White House 'laser focused' on passing spending agenda as House returns from recess: memo

White House seeking to move on amid Afghanistan crisis fallout

FIRST ON FOX: As the House of Representatives returns from August recess, the White House is "laser focused" on getting President Biden's spending plan passed, saying, in a new memo to House Democrats, that the passage of the plan is "urgent," and will lead to more economic growth. 

In a memo to House Democratic communications directors obtained by Fox News, White House communications director Kate Bedingfield lays out the "messaging" around Biden's "Build Back Better Agenda."

The White House rolled out Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Jobs Plan earlier this year, which is his proposal to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure, while pumping money into manufacturing, transportation, renewable energy and combating climate change. 

The White House, also earlier this year, introduced Biden’s $1.8 trillion American Families Plan, which calls for universal "high-quality preschool" for all 3- and 4-year-olds. 


The plan would also provide two years of free community college to be made available to all Americans, in addition to offering new funding for historically Black colleges and other minority-serving institutions. The plan offers a renewed focus on teacher training, as well as expanded child tax credits and a national paid leave program.

"Thank you for the work your bosses did in their districts over the course of the August work period to spread the word of the urgent need for the Build Back Better agenda, and the positive impact it will have on communities across the country," Bedingfield wrote.

President Joe Biden walks across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021, after returning from a trip to New York and New Jersey to survey damage from the remnants of Hurricane Ida. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (AP Photo/Susan Walsh / AP Newsroom)

"As the House comes back into session, we are laser focused on getting the Build Back Better agenda through the House, through the Senate, and onto President Biden’s desk for his signature," she added, noting that in order to do that, Democrats need to "aim to tell a clear story" about what the agenda will do to "level the playing field" for working people – which can be done "without adding to the deficit." 

"Joe Biden ran for president on a belief that given half a chance, ordinary people can do extraordinary things. President Biden believes this comes down to a simple proposition: Scranton, PA v. Park Avenue," she wrote. "Leveling the playing field and ensuring that those who have prospered – the wealthiest and profitable corporations – pay their fair share so that working families, care workers, teachers, firefighters and nurses get a fighting chance." 


She added: "The Build Back Better Agenda is about giving everyone that chance." 

Taking a swipe at former President Trump, Bedingfield writes that Biden’s agenda cuts "taxes for middle-class families, puts money directly in people’s pockets, and pays for this by repealing the Trump tax cuts for the wealthiest and largest corporations to make them pay their fair share." 

"Unlike the Trump tax cut bill, it will not add to the deficit over the long run," she wrote. "Instead, we will cover the cost by making the wealthiest and corporations pay their fair share." 

She added: "It’s not a question of punishment; it’s a question of fairness." 

Bedingfield went on to say the agenda will lower taxes and costs for health care, prescription drugs and child care. 

She also said the agenda would tackle the climate crisis, calling it an "existential threat that we must deal with immediately." 

In closing, Bedingfield writes that, as Americans, "we face a fundamental choice" as to how to rebuild the economy. 

"Whose side are we on?" she writes. "President Biden knows whose side he’s on: the backbone of this country, the middle class." 

She went on to slam Republicans, saying those who oppose the Build Back Better agenda "have chosen whose side they are on, too." 

"They are fighting to protect tax cuts for the wealthiest and for their big corporate donors at the expense of American families," she wrote. "They’re fighting to get rid of the tax cuts for middle-class people in favor of tax cuts for the wealthiest 1% of the country and corporations." 

Bedingfield accused Republicans of also "fighting to let Big Pharma keep raising prices on the everyday drugs you and your loved ones depend on for your very life, even as Pharma’s profits soar." 

"A year ago, President Biden promised that we were going to Build Back Better, and he was running to give people a chance," she wrote. "To do that, he looked at the biggest challenges facing working families today." 

"The Build Back Better agenda is about tackling those challenges, and leveling the playing field to ensure the wealthiest and corporations pay their fair share and working families get a fighting chance to succeed and prosper in this country," she wrote. 

"The time is now," she continued. "We have to meet the needs in front of us. Not tomorrow, not months from now, not next year. Right now." 

She added: "America’s working families deserve opportunity and nothing less." 

A House GOP leadership aide, though, slammed the White House's proposal, saying it will "raise taxes and kill jobs, provide amnesty to illegal immigrants, and exacerbate runaway inflation and our national debt." 

"Despite the fact that Americans are still stranded in Afghanistan, our border is wide open, and Americans are suffering due to higher prices from everything from gas to groceries, Democrats are using their time and energy to ram through a socialist wishlist that the American people don't want and can't afford," the aide told FOX Business. 


The aide added: "If the Democrats actually wanted to get our country back on track, they'd ditch this disastrous plan and instead work with Republicans to build on the successes of historic tax reform that built the greatest economy in a generation." 

The president, last week, vowed to "press further action" on his Build Back Better plan when Congress returned from recess, saying the plan would make "historic investments in electrical infrastructure, modernizing our roads, bridges, our water systems, sewer and drainage systems, electric grids and transmission lines and make them more resilient to these super storms and wildfires and floods that are going to happen with increasing frequency and ferocity." 


"We're reminded this isn't about politics," Biden said last week during an address on his administration's response efforts to Hurricane Ida.  

Last month, the Senate passed a bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure spending bill.