Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kelly speaks at an election watch party in Tucson, Arizona, U.S. November 3, 2020.
Cheney Orr | Reuters
Democrats are showcasing new partnerships with corporate America in an effort to convince voters that they can deliver jobs and safeguard the economy ahead of the midterm elections.
Many of the investments the party has touted are in key battleground states. In Arizona, Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly — whose reelection bid will help to determine Senate control — joined AT&T CEO John Stankey and Corning CEO Wendell Weeks last week to announce a new fiber optic plant outside of Phoenix that will create hundreds of jobs.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen toured Ford’s electric vehicle plant in Michigan on Thursday and discussed the benefits of clean energy. Later this month, she’ll travel to North Carolina, where Toyota is spending $2.5 billion to manufacture EV batteries. North Carolina will also host a critical Senate race in November.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen holds a news conference in the Cash Room at the U.S. Treasury Department in Washington, U.S. July 28, 2022.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
Perhaps most significantly, President Joe Biden will attend the groundbreaking of Intel’s new semiconductor facility in the swing state of Ohio on Friday – the start of an investment that could be worth up to $100 billion. Both company executives and lawmakers claim the project was made possible by legislation spearheaded by Democrats.
“When you pass good legislation, you get good results,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said this week as he ticked off a laundry list of business investments. “It’s been a long time since the American people felt that Washington is capable of doing big things to meet big challenges.”
That tone represents a shift in the rhetoric that Democrats espoused a year ago. Back then, they were focused on raising revenue from corporations and the wealthy to pay for a sweeping social spending proposal known as Build Back Better: increasing the corporate tax rate, crafting a minimum global tax on multinational businesses and imposing new taxes on millionaires and billionaires, among others.
And when inflation spiked to 40-year highs, some Democrats pinned the blame on corporate profiteering.
But those proposals were blocked by the party’s moderates. Though most of the attention was focused on Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, centrists in the House such as Reps. Stephanie Murphy of Florida and Kurt Schrader of Oregon also expressed discomfort.
And as Democrats pared back their proposals, their message became more muted as well.
“It feels like a split screen sometimes,” said Jim Kessler, executive …….