The midterm elections are fast approaching, but President Joe Biden has largely been staying away from campaign events for down-ballot Democrats, amid his low approval ratings.
Instead, some Cabinet members are doing his bidding for him.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is promoting Biden administration policies as the key to advancing the nation’s “long-term economic well being” in the lead-up to the midterm elections.
The former Federal Reserve chair is visiting a Virginia research and development business park with Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine on Friday and talking up administration efforts to revitalize America’s manufacturing capacity, spur computer chip production and upgrade the country’s infrastructure. Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., also will attend.
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Yellen’s visit is part of the Treasury leader’s ongoing tour of the U.S., as she and other administration officials try to quell the impact of persistent high inflation.
Voters have made clear that price increases are a top concern. A June Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll showed that 40% of U.S. adults specifically named inflation in an open-ended question as one of up to five priorities for the government to work on in the next year.
Democrats want to retain their control in Congress and will need to convince voters they can wrangle inflation, which accelerated in September. In Virginia, Yellen will talk about how a boost in domestic industrial manufacturing will be one of the solutions.
“Our government’s failure to invest in innovation has had wide-ranging impacts on our long-term economic well being,” Yellen said in prepared remarks. “At the most fundamental level, it impacted our productive capacity.”
She said that over the past year President Joe Biden’s administration “has begun to reverse that trend.”
“We have advanced an economic plan that finally puts innovation and technology at the forefront of our national agenda,” she said.
Yellen planned to attend a roundtable with local entrepreneurs and people representing Virginia colleges who are focused on semiconductors, advanced manufacturing and other emerging technologies.
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“Together, our efforts are raising our economy’s aggregate production capacity,” she said. “And in turn, we are raising America’s long-term economic outlook.”
Early voting is underway in many states, including Virginia.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.