With three weeks to go until Election Day for the midterm races, President Joe Biden on Tuesday is slated to talk up his party’s support for abortion rights, as Republicans continue to seize on raging U.S. inflation in their campaigns.
Biden in a speech around 12:15 p.m. Eastern is expected to promise that if Democrats maintain their control of Congress in the midterm elections, then the first bill that he sends to U.S. lawmakers in the next session will aim to codify abortion rights, according to multiple published reports.
In his remarks, the president is also expected to criticize the Republican approach to the issue, such as a bill from Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina that would prohibit abortion nationwide after 15 weeks with exceptions for rape, incest or risks to the physical health of the mother.
Graham’s measure, announced Sept. 13 after the Supreme Court’s June decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, isn’t likely to pass the Senate given that some Republicans don’t support it, but Democrats have seized on it as a talking point for their midterm campaigns.
Related: Lindsey Graham’s corporate donors find themselves linked to his controversial abortion bill. Why ‘everyone’s playing gotcha with political spending.’
Biden’s Tuesday speech comes as Republicans appear to have regained some momentum in their push to seize control of the U.S. House and Senate. A New York Times/Sienna College poll released Monday found that 44% of likely voters said economic concerns were most important, up from 36% in July and well above any other issue.
“Economic factors appear to be refocusing voters on inflation and high fuel costs in the final stretch of the cycle, leading us to believe a GOP sweep is the most likely outcome,” said a team of Raymond James analysts focused on Washington policy in a note on Tuesday.
See: Betting markets now see Republicans winning Senate in midterm elections, as GOP slightly favored for first time in 2 months
In a bid to lower gasoline prices
before the midterms, the Biden administration this week plans to announce a sale of oil
from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, according to a Reuters report citing unnamed sources.
The sale would market the remaining 14 million barrels from Biden’s historic release of 180 million barrels that he announced in March and that began in May.
Read more: Oil futures move lower as fears of a recession outweigh support from tight supplies
Republicans are keeping up their attacks on Biden and his fellow Democrats over how they’ve managed the U.S. economy, with the office of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell saying in a statement on Monday that the Biden White House is “living in an economic fantasy.”
“Between insisting ‘our economy is strong as hell’ in the face of the worst inflation in 40 years and a looming recession, boasting about gas prices as energy costs continue to soar, and gaslighting about whose policies fueled inflation, Joe Biden’s White House is completely out of touch with most Americans’ everyday economic reality,” the statement said.
On Thursday, the latest reading for the consumer price index showed high inflation persisting, with so-called core CPI climbing to a new cycle peak.
traded higher Tuesday, but the S&P 500
has lost 22% so far this year.