President Biden on Thursday took a stab at Sen. Rick Scott’s (R-Fla.) proposed tax plan in response to the decline in gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter.
U.S. GDP shrank at an annualized rate of 1.4 percent during the first three months of 2022, according to data released Thursday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, more than the 1 percent economists expected.
“We need to keep making progress — cutting costs for working families, making more in America, and creating good-paying jobs you can raise a middle-class family on,” Biden said in a statement.
“Congressional Republicans, led by Senator Scott, believe the way to fight these global challenges is by raising taxes on middle class families, including half of small business owners. I have a different approach.”
The White House has previously gone after Scott, the head of Senate Republicans’ campaign arm, for his proposed tax plan, highlighting that aspects of it would raise taxes on middle-class and lower-income Americans. It has also tied congressional Republicans to Scott’s plan, although many have distanced themselves from his proposal.
Scott responded on Thursday, saying “the president issued a desperate statement lying about my plan to rescue America” and added that Biden is “clearly obsessed with my plan.”
Biden in his statement said last quarter’s grown estimate “was affected by technical factors” and noted challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and global inflation.
Biden called the U.S. economy “resilient in the face of historic challenges” and touted increases in consumer spending, business investments and residential investments.
Biden also called for Congress to send him a bipartisan innovation bill, which aims to bolster U.S. supply chains.
And he called on Congress to pass legislation that includes provisions of his Build Back Better agenda, which stalled in the Senate last year, including reducing the cost of prescription drugs and the cost of utility bills. He said legislation should not raises taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 a year, a pledge the president has repeatedly made.
–Updated at 12:51 p.m.