By Nandita Bose
WASHINGTON (Reuters)—President Joe Biden will contrast his economic plan with Republicans' on Thursday in a last-ditch effort days before U.S. midterm elections to convince voters that Democrats are best equipped to battle inflation and create jobs.
Biden will visit Syracuse, New York, where Micron Technology plans to invest up to $100 billion in computer chip manufacturing, part of tens of billions in new factory spending announced after Biden signed the CHIPS Act subsidizing the industry in August.
In Syracuse, Biden will tout efforts to bring manufacturing jobs back to upstate New York, and contrast those policies with what he has called Republicans' "mega-'MAGA' trickle-down agenda."
The slogan is a reference to Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" movement and the Republican former president's emphasis on tax cuts that Democrats argued failed to "trickle down" to lower-income citizens.
Senior administration officials said that Biden will argue that the Republican economic plans benefit the wealthy and increase inflation. Earlier this week, Biden warned Republicans would cause "chaos" in the world's largest economy.
Some Republicans have pledged to use the U.S. statutory borrowing limit or debt ceiling to force cuts to federal spending, extend Trump's tax cuts, repeal Democrat-enacted laws lowering prescription drug prices and block Biden's student debt relief plan.
Biden's trip comes at a time when the White House optimism that Democrats could buck history and retain control of one or both houses of Congress has waned. Any shift will shape the final two years of Biden's term, and Democrats could lose control of both chambers of Congress.
"The president has been talking about the economy and inflation all year long," White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said in an interview with MSNBC, as he responded to criticism that Democrats have not emphasized the top issue for voters ahead of Tuesday's race for control of Congress. "We are not coming to this economic argument late."
Still, Democrats in some crucial races have chosen to campaign without Biden, pushing the White House to significantly scale back their planned presence in competitive areas around the country in the weeks leading up to the race.
Forecasters regard the Syracuse-area 22nd Congressional District in New York state as one of few House of Representatives seats in the country that Democrats have a chance at gaining control of next week.
(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; Additional reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt and Chris Gallagher; Editing by Heather Timmons, Lincoln Feast, and Jonathan Oatis)