Biden heads to Nevada, Arizona with re-election push and housing pitch

Biden heads to Nevada, Arizona with re-election push and housing pitch
Biden heads to Nevada, Arizona with re-election push and housing pitch

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - The Democratic president has been making stops in a host of battleground states since his State of the Union address earlier this month that criticised his Republican opponent, former President Donald , and laid out ideas he hopes to implement if given a second term. — Reuters pic

WASHINGTON, March 19 — President Joe Biden travels to Nevada and Arizona today to promote his affordable housing proposals and pitch his case for re-election in two political swing states that could prove critical to his bid to stay in the White House.

The Democratic president has been making stops in a host of battleground states since his State of the Union address earlier this month that criticised his Republican opponent, former President Donald Trump, and laid out ideas he hopes to implement if given a second term.

With worries about high rents and mortgage interest rates contributing to voters’ sour views about the economy, Biden will tout his administration’s latest proposals to make housing more affordable.

“The housing affordability crunch for renters and would-be homeowners has been years in the making, and the previous administration did not take action to address it,” White House economic adviser Lael Brainard told reporters on a conference call before the trip, placing blame on Trump for housing costs.

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Trump has lambasted Biden for his economic policies and for presiding over inflation in multiple sectors of the economy that has stung voters nationwide.

Biden, Brainard said, would call on Congress to support investments to lower housing costs. Biden’s plan, which would require congressional passage, includes a US$10,000 (RM47,330) mortgage relief tax credit for first time homebuyers and a $10,000 tax credit for people selling “starter” homes in an effort to free up housing inventory at the lower end of the market.

His plan also calls for tax credits to build more housing units, efforts to fight “rent gouging by corporate landlords,” and an expansion of a low income housing tax credit program, according to the White House.

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Congress is unlikely to pass major legislation in an election year, but the president’s discussion of the topic reflects his administration’s awareness of the impact it could have on his re-election hopes.

While in Nevada, Biden will also hold a campaign event with volunteers before traveling to Arizona, where he will make remarks at a Mexican restaurant in the Phoenix area and launch a group dedicated to engaging Latino voters, according to his campaign.

Biden campaign officials are working to mobilise minority voters, including Hispanics and Blacks, to help him win in what are expected to be close races in the swing states that will decide who prevails in the November election.

The president has faced anger from younger voters and Arab Americans over his support for Israel in its war against Hamas militants in Gaza, which generated a protest vote of “uncommitted” among Democrats in Michigan’s primary last month.

Arizona’s Abandon Biden campaign is urging voters in the state to vote for author Marianne Williamson in the Democratic primary, which is being held today, since “uncommitted” is not an option there.

Biden won Arizona in 2020 by just 10,457 votes, and studies estimate that Muslims make up about 1 per cent to 1.5 per cent of the state’s population of nearly 8 million people. — Reuters

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