Biden denounces 'lies' about 'reckless spending' in speech to AFL-CIO

President Biden brandished his pro-union bona fides and denounced Republican criticisms of his spending policies during a speech delivered to the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations' quadrennial convention in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

According to its website, the AFL-CIO is a federation of 57 unions representing over 12 million workers.

The president told the crowd he intends to be "the most pro-union president in history." He also touted his appointment of former union leader Marty Walsh as secretary of labor. Biden drew laughs when he joked that Walsh, who speaks with a thick Boston accent, would eventually "learn how to speak English."

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Later in the speech, Biden discussed his legislative accomplishments, including the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which he said helped 41 million Americans "put food on their table," and the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

"I don't want to hear any more of these lies about reckless spending," Biden said. "We're changing people's lives!"

Sen. John Thune (R-N.D.) quipped on Twitter that Americans' lives are indeed "changing" due to "[s]kyrocketing costs & historically high gas prices."

Biden also cited high job growth, low unemployment, and the strength of the labor market, aiming to shore up economic confidence before the midterms, as Americans report the lowest economic confidence since 2009.

Writing for The Week in January, Ryan Cooper predicted that, by November, we could see "the highest inflation since the early 1980s but also the best job market since the 1960s."

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Grayson Quay

Grayson Quay was the weekend editor at His writing has also been published in National Review, the Pittsburgh Post-GazetteModern AgeThe American ConservativeThe Spectator World, and other outlets. Grayson earned his M.A. from Georgetown University in 2019.