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Jennifer Haberkorn

Biden says he’s heading to MTG’s backyard for a groundbreaking

Joe Biden says he’ll soon make a swing to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s backyard.

On Thursday, the president said he plans to attend the groundbreaking of a Georgia solar facility that he credits to his Bidenomics agenda. The visit would amount to the most high-profile example yet of the White House’s strategy of drawing a contrast with Republicans who opposed the president’s bills — placing Biden on the home turf of a House GOP member who has pushed for his impeachment.

“Since I took office, we’ve seen over 60 domestic manufacturing announcements all across the solar supply chain. One of the biggest is in Dalton, Ga. You may find it hard to believe, but that’s Marjorie Taylor Greene’s district,” a grinning Biden told the crowd at a clean energy manufacturing site in the South Carolina district of another congressional Republican, Rep. Joe Wilson. “I’ll be there for the groundbreaking.”

Biden and other administration officials have been going to Republican-held congressional districts to tout the White House’s Investing in America agenda: the American Rescue Plan, Inflation Reduction Act, the bipartisan infrastructure law and the CHIPS and Science Act. The administration hopes to show that the laws have spurred job growth, domestic manufacturing and economic development — while reminding the public that Republicans largely opposed the measures.

A White House spokesperson declined to provide more details about the Georgia groundbreaking.

“President Biden looks forward to showcasing how Bidenomics is bringing good-paying manufacturing jobs to Georgia,” Andrew Bates said. “Bidenomics centers on growing the middle class, and is delivering the biggest manufacturing surge in decades. Meanwhile, congressional Republicans are attempting to repeal many of the policies that are fueling that manufacturing resurgence so they can cut taxes for the wealthy.”

The solar panel manufacturer Qcells, which is owned by South Korea-based Hanwha Solutions, announced in January that it planned a $2.5 billion expansion of its Georgia manufacturing facility, potentially the largest ever investment in such manufacturing in the U.S., according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It planned to expand its Dalton facility and open another one northwest of Atlanta.

Biden appeared Thursday at Flex, a manufacturing company in West Columbia, S.C. Last week, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm visited the same site, as well as four other GOP-held districts, during a road trip through the South. A handful of other Cabinet officials have visited Republican districts in recent days.

Biden said companies have announced $11 billion in clean energy manufacturing investments in South Carolina since the Inflation Reduction Act and Chips and Science Act were signed.

“That’s why I fought so hard for the things I wanted to do. Didn’t get much help from the other team but that didn’t stop us from getting it done,” he told the crowd.

Biden listed many of the state Republican delegation’s opposition to the bills “that attracted all these jobs.” He praised Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) for supporting the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Chips and Science Law, “but I wish he had voted for the rest.”

The president also criticized Republicans such as Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, who later heralded funding related to the law that they had voted against.

“Implementing this legislation also has another transformative impact: All those members of Congress who voted against it suddenly realize how great it is. And they’re bragging about it. As my mother would say, ‘God love them,’” Biden said.

Bates said Wilson was made aware of Thursday’s visit, although the lawmaker, in a statement, said he was “shocked” to learn of the trip on Wednesday.

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