President Biden visited former President Jimmy Carter, an old friend, as he traveled to Georgia on Thursday to present his $ 4 trillion economic program.
A day after using his first address to Congress to urge swift passage of his plans to spend heavily on infrastructure, child care, paid vacation and other efforts to boost economic competitiveness, Mr. Biden organized a car rally in Duluth, Ga., On his 100th day in office.
White House officials have said the president will promote the $ 1.9 trillion economic aid bill he signed into law in March and present the two-part plan for long-term investments in the economy he implemented over the past two weeks.
Mr Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and the president’s office are embarking on a post-speech tour to push economic plans forward next week. Administration officials said the goal would be to celebrate the increased pace of Covid-19 vaccinations since Mr Biden took office and economic activity rebounded.
The president will also push Congress to pass a broad package of tax cuts and spending programs designed to address long-standing economic inequalities, create jobs and give Americans more flexibility to balance work and family. The most recent bundle of plans, which Mr Biden detailed on Wednesday, include efforts to reduce child care costs, the creation of a federal paid vacation program, a free community college, a universal preschool, and increased efforts to fight poverty.
“He and the first lady are going back to Georgia to talk about getting the United States back on track,” Karine Jean-Pierre, the senior deputy press assistant, told reporters as they visited the state.
But first, Mr. Biden made a detour to Plains, Georgia, where Mr. Carter lives with his wife, Rosalynn Carter. Mr. Carter, the longest-serving former president, is 96 years old and a cancer survivor. He has remained largely out of public sight during the coronavirus pandemic, although he appeared at a parade in October on his birthday. He did not attend Mr Biden’s inauguration in January and the president had promised to visit him.
“It’s a long-standing friendship,” said Ms. Jean-Pierre. “They said they were going to try to see each other after the opening.”
Mr. Biden was the first senator to endorse Mr. Carter’s presidential candidacy in 1976, when Mr. Carter was governor of Georgia and was not considered the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. Mr Biden recalled that approval as part of a brief video message he recorded this month for the film crew behind “Carterland,” a documentary about the Carter administration.
“Some of my Senate colleagues thought it was youthful exuberance,” Biden said in the video. “Well, I was rambunctious, but like I said at the time, ‘Jimmy isn’t just a brilliant smile. He can win and attract more segments of the population than any other person. “
In the message, the president praised Mr. Carter’s work in power and after his defeat to Ronald Reagan in 1980, praising Mr. Carter for working to eradicate the disease and house the poor while still finding time. to teach in Sunday school. Mr Biden said Mr Carter called him the day before his inauguration to wish him luck and tell him he would be there in spirit.
“Put simply,” Mr. Biden told Mr. Carter and Ms. Carter at the end of the video, “we love you and God bless you both.”
The visit between the two families on Thursday lasted less than an hour. Mr. Biden’s motorcade arrived at the Carters’ home from Jimmy Carter Regional Airport at 2:30 p.m. A reporter by the pool saw Ms. Carter, in a white top and using a walker, on the porch. There was no sign of Mr. Carter.
Zach Montague contribution to reports.