As Midterms Near, Biden Warns Republicans Seek to Dismantle Democratic Legislation

WASHINGTON — President Biden warned on Friday that Republicans could upend legislative victories achieved under his administration and a Democratic Congress if the G.O.P. were to win control of Congress in November’s midterm elections.

“They don’t have a platform other than to tear down what I’ve been able to do, we’ve been able to do.” Mr. Biden told an MSNBC news anchor, according to NBC News. “And I don’t know what they’re for.”

He also vowed to veto a federal abortion ban if Republicans regain majorities in Congress and seek to pass such legislation. G.O.P. candidates have sought to avoid the subject as polls show a majority of voters support abortion rights.

“The president has to sign it. I’ll veto it,” he said.

Democrats pulled out a recent series of legislative victories heading into campaign season, after passing sweeping health, climate and tax legislation earlier this year. Those include an infusion of funding into America’s semiconductor industry to counter China and expanded medical benefits for veterans who were exposed to toxins from burn pits on military bases and a gun safety package.

“These last several weeks all I’m doing is saying here’s what we’re for, here’s what they’re for and make a choice and vote,” Biden said in the interview with the MSNBC journalist Jonathan Capehart. “And I think people are going to show up and vote like they did last time.”

Most recently, Mr. Biden vowed to wipe out up to $20,000 in student loan debt, which he touted on the campaign trail on Friday, noting that the program has received 22 million applications since it opened last week.

But that plan was dealt a blow with a ruling by an appeals court Friday on a case brought by several Republican-led states. And a number of Republicans in Congress have targeted some of the administration’s key legislative measures.


How Times reporters cover politics. We rely on our journalists to be independent observers. So while Times staff members may vote, they are not allowed to endorse or campaign for candidates or political causes. This includes participating in marches or rallies in support of a movement or giving money to, or raising money for, any political candidate or election cause.

Several House Republicans, including the top G.O.P. member of the committee that oversees entitlement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, said they would back repealing the law that reduced prescription drug costs for seniors if their party took control of the House in November.

Mr. Biden has previously warned that Republicans pose a threat to Social Security and Medicare, as Democrats paint the fate of America’s social safety net programs as a central campaign issue. He has also promised to continue to push forward on Democratic priorities in the next two years, like codifying abortion rights, strengthening gun control laws and instituting police reform, all measures that would be nonstarters with Republican majorities in the House and Senate.

“What do you think they’re going to do?” Mr. Biden said at an event last month, criticizing a plan drafted by Senator Rick Scott, Republican of Florida, that would allow Social Security and Medicare to “sunset” if Congress did not extend the programs with new legislation.

In his MSNBC interview, Mr. Biden dismissed polls that showed that the majority of voters disproved of his handling of the economy. A recent New York Times/Siena College poll found Republicans have an edge among likely voters going into November, with many voters citing worries about the economy, an issue on which Republican candidates have heavily campaigned.

Mr. Biden has kept a low profile on the campaign trail, choosing to avoid rallies and instead touting his legislative victories in smaller events. He reiterated on Friday to MSNBC that he intends to seek re-election in 2024, though he said he had not made a formal decision.

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