December 8, 2022


In a new effort by the White House to show local governments what they can do for their communities, North Carolina officials will need to highlight funding opportunities and hear firsthand how coronavirus relief, infrastructure dollars and other policies are working locally.

Thursday’s event reflects the expansion of use of the White House campus as pandemic restrictions ease. It’s part of a larger initiative by municipal, county and state officials on a weekly basis from all 50 states, coinciding with the November midterm election campaign as the White House tries to galvanize Democratic voters.

“We’re entering a phase of our administration when we can do more in inviting the White House,” said Julie Rodriguez, director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. “It’s incredibly inspiring for us to get closer to the impact we’re having in the everyday lives of Americans.”

A key message for visiting North Carolina officials is manufacturing recovery. Steady hiring since the middle of last year pushed the total number of U.S. manufacturing jobs to 12.85 million, the most since late 2008 as the financial crisis prompted more than 2 million layoffs in the sector.

Officials are expected to discuss with the group from North Carolina Wolfspeed’s plan to invest $5 billion in building a silicon chip factory that is predicted to create an estimated 1,800 jobs in the state.

That discussion will follow the first group visit recently by officials from Ohio. President Joe Biden spoke at a groundbreaking ceremony for a new Intel plant near Columbus earlier this month. Ohio and North Carolina both have open Senate seats this year.

Thursday’s half-day event featured EPA Administrator Michael Reagan, who hails from North Carolina. Rodriguez and Keisha Lance Bottoms, a former Atlanta mayor who is now a senior White House adviser, also spoke to the group.

23 North Carolina officials confirmed to attend, including U.S. Rep. Kathy Manning, state lawmakers, mayors of Charlotte, Wilmington, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Concord, Kinston and Durham, as well as Wake and Guildford. County.

As administration officials want to hear local stories, they also want to emphasize the potential opportunities for local governments thanks to bipartisan infrastructure legislation, incentives to develop computer chips and scientific research, and a recent package to encourage climate-friendly energy. Formulations and prescription drug prices are limited.

As part of the day’s events, the White House planned to connect those officials with regional media outlets trying to get the message across to the wider public. This will be important in terms of political messages. Republicans seeking control of the House and Senate have blamed high inflation on Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, while the administration has said prices are a byproduct of the pandemic and global events such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

The White House says its efforts have helped workers by quickly bringing the unemployment rate down to a low of 3.7%, but the Republican drumbeat is that consumer prices rose 8.3% from a year ago and are the primary cause for concern among voters. Gasoline prices have been falling since peaking in June, but the Federal Reserve on Wednesday estimated that unemployment would rise to moderate inflation.

“Inflation plateauing above 8% doesn’t mean families are getting a break — it means just the opposite,” Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said in a speech on the Senate floor Monday. “This means that households are constantly seeing price increases.”



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