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There are so many dots on the maps they blur into blobs — each one reflecting trillions of public and private dollars flowing in the U.S. this past year to build thousands of roads, bridges and manufacturing projects in communities large and small, in states red and blue.
They include an electric vehicle "battery belt" of manufacturing stretching from Michigan to Georgia, semiconductor fabrication plants in Arizona, Texas, Ohio and New York and broadband coming to Appalachia.
Taken together, they represent President Joe Biden's ambitious attempt to use the levers of government to chart a new era of domestic manufacturing, modernizing the U.S. to compete in the 21st century.
Packaged as "Bidenomics" by the White House, the effort is the product of three major bills approved in the last Congress that are also the president's hoped-for roadmap for reelection. Republicans have balked at what they said was unwarranted federal spending. The debate between those two views could go a long way toward determining who wins the White House and control of Congress in 2024.
On the ground, it's a mix of the promise and pitfalls of domestic policymaking beginning to take shape across the country.
"It's this whole new world of opportunity," said Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, who said firms are investing millions of dollars to upgrade facilities and transform the ethanol industry.
Much like the development of the federal highway system in the 1950s or the space race to the moon in the 1960s, the undertaking is once in a generation. More recently, presidents have tapped Congress to deliver on their vision for social or fiscal policy, with the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, a decade ago and Trump's GOP tax cuts in 2017.
Now rounding year one, it remains a work in progress. The Inflation Reduction Act, the Chips and Science Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act are coming into fruition at a time of economic churn and stubborn inflation in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We spent decades underinvesting," said Wendy Edelberg, a former chief economist at the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and now a senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution think tank. "And so we have a lot of catching up to do."
Democrats see the trio of bills — two of which also drew bipartisan support from Republicans — as their calling card to voters ahead of the 2024 election, the tangible results of Biden's vision and tenure in the White House. For Republicans, many of whom voted against all three bills, Bidenomics is a powerful punchline about big government overreach.
"What is 'Bidenomics'?" said a memo circulated earlier this summer by Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Barrasso of Wyoming. "It is the inflationary Washington spending, costly regulations, and regressive taxes touted by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris," he said.
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