The circle of President Joe Biden’s critics is growing — and now includes the senior White House correspondent at NBC News.
According to NBC’s Shannon Pettypiece, Biden made a “very unusual” move on Monday when he abruptly canceled a planned press briefing on the ongoing supply chain issues plaguing the United States.
It’s not the first time critics have noticed Biden’s habit of avoiding the press and staying in the background, but it seems even the mainstream media are finally growing impatient with the act.
Sponsored: “Fruit Secret” for Better Blood Pressure
The supply chain issues have caused massive delays and shortages in retail stores, and they’ve exacerbated inflationary pressures, which were already high. Plus, they’ve caused gas price spikes… right in time for the holidays.
The press wanted to know what is the White House doing to solve those problems.
Without warning, Biden canceled the briefing just 15 minutes before he was set to take the stage.
White House unexpectedly canceled Biden remarks on supply chain … about 15 minutes before they were supposed to starts
— Shannon Pettypiece (@spettypi) November 29, 2021
The sudden cancelation was so Biden could spend more time meeting with high-level business CEOs, the White House said.
Biden “wanted to ensure ample time spent with the business leaders who traveled to the White House today,” the White House said Monday. “The President will deliver additional remarks on Wednesday on the economy, supply chains, and lowering costs for the American people.”
The TRUTH about your tinnitus [Sponsored]
Instead of a press briefing, Biden traveled to a Minnesota community college Tuesday to sell his $1 trillion infrastructure package.
This all comes at a crucial pivot point for Biden, who is facing the threat of the new omicron strain of the coronavirus and high levels of inflation as parts of his economy-reshaping agenda are caught in Congress. Biden wants to get an additional $2 trillion spending agenda pushed through the Senate, as well as temporarily fund the government and preserve its ability to borrow as the debt limit could be breached in December.
Biden also wants to sell to the American people the bipartisan infrastructure package. The $1 trillion bill contains money for roads, bridges, broadband, water systems, and a shift to electric vehicles, and the White House says it is evidence that Biden can work across the political aisle. The measure passed with solid support from the Republican establishment.
He plans to tour Dakota County Technical College in Rosemont, Minnesota. Afterward, he will give remarks on how the additional spending on infrastructure will “deliver for the American people, create good-paying union jobs, lower prices by improving the infrastructure for our supply chains,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in previewing the trip.
One key hurdle for the infrastructure package will be the labor shortages plaguing the economy, specifically the need for skilled construction workers. Labor Department figures show that roughly 7.5 million people hold construction jobs, nearly as many as there were during the housing bubble about 15 years ago. Builders say it’s been difficult for them to find workers and the spending on infrastructure could only increase demand further.
Biden won Minnesota in last year’s presidential election with 52.6% of the vote. He’s visiting the state’s second congressional district, a potentially vulnerable seat in the midterms that narrowly went to Democratic Rep. Angie Craig in 2020.
The president has recently been in close contact with the heads of several major retailers, including Target, which is headquartered in the state, as he struggles to resolve supply chain challenges that have clogged ports and caused consumers to wait longer for electronics, furniture, and other goods.
The supply chain challenges have contributed to prices in October skyrocketing up 6.2% from 12 months ago, the highest pace in over 30 years.
The White House National Economic Council claimed in a report Monday that there has been progress on addressing the problems, with a decrease in long-dwelling containers waiting at ports and an increase in retail inventories.
The Associated Press contributed to this article