Tales from the Trail

Vice President Biden a lot like voluble Sen. Biden

January 30, 2009

biden1WASHINGTON – As a veteran Democratic senator, Joe Biden was an opinionated guy. As vice president, he is still an opinionated guy.
 
Which leads us to our latest installment of “Biden watch,” in which the vice president says he likes the idea of including a “Buy American” provision in the economic stimulus plan. Some lawmakers see the provision as steering U.S. trade policy into protectionist territory.
 
Not Biden.
 
“I don’t view that as some of the pure free traders view it, as a harbinger of protectionism. I don’t buy that at all. So I think it’s legitimate to have some portions of ‘Buy American’ in it,” Biden told CNBC on Thursday.
 
The House of Representatives approved the measure this week as part of an $825 billion bill to revive the U.S. economy. In the House version of the bill, the “Buy American” measure would require all public works projects funded by the stimulus package to use only U.S.-made iron and steel.
 
At the White House on Friday, spokesman Robert Gibbs was asked about the buy American provision and had a wait-and-see answer. Senate debate on the stimulus bill starts next week.
 
Gibbs said the Obama administration was examining the measure to see whether it violates U.S. trade obligations.
 
 ”The administration will review that particular provision and will make a determination of it … . It understands all of the concerns,” Gibbs said.

For more Reuters political news, click here.

Photo credit: Reuters/Larry Downing (Biden and Obama in the East Room of the White House on Jan. 30)

Comments
9 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

It is obvious the democratic party now has its very own Dan Quayle in Joe Biden.

I am sure the reporters are just waiting for the stupid remark so they can sell a few more papers. It will be a fun four years. I suspect it is because no one likes Biden. That rarely happens to a democrat becuase the media protects the “public” from the stupid things democrats say. But only the democrats.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive
 

could obama be thinking tc,”i wonder how far down did they sink those transplants”.”could it be possible that the hair coming out of his ear,o.no no.”

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive
 

We believe under the just and wise leadership of Mr. President Obama, Mr. Vice President Biden, Mrs. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the new US Government, US will overcome the economic crisis one day. With the best wishes!

Posted by Wang Xu | Report as abusive
 

I like Biden. He has a tendency to say what a lot of people are thinking, without ‘checking the party line’ first. Is that a problem? I don’t think so, especially for the person looking for ways to help the floundering middle class. There’s a great deal of difference between blunt and clueless and he’s real hard to ‘spin.’

Posted by Sharon | Report as abusive
 

No kidding, Sharon. Not only does Joe Biden say the things I am thinking, he is also right on. We have many laws and regulations on the books that require federal grant money to be spent on US-made products. A completely different animal, protectionism is high import tariffs that prevent foreign goods (say, Chinese steel) from competing in the open market. Foreign goods will remain able to compete for privately funded projects.

We seriously do NOT need to be sending our bailout and economic stimulus funds overseas!

 

I love Biden. He tells it like it is, and thats refreshing amongst the other crooks in office.

Keep doing your thing, Biden and forever keep doing you!

Posted by carla | Report as abusive
 

Hi, Mike, I reckon some American is fettered by protectionism. We warmly welcome US goods to be imported.
Welcome again.

Posted by Wang Xu | Report as abusive
 

It’s interesting to note that neither the article or the responses by readers touch on the real meaning behind the term “buy American.” Biden is using the comment as a sound bite – it sounds good and opinionated and appeals to the more conservative members of the electorate who remember the failed made-in-the-USA campaigns of decades past, but it has no substance whatsoever. With Biden seemingly “mouthing off” and Gibbs staying solid – the administration is showing support for both sides of the issue: those people who think that non-protectionist policies means we’ll be sending our money overseas (even though its coming from overseas) and those proponents of non-protectionist policies (the people who are providing us this money from overseas) who see this as potentially exacerbating the systemic problems hundreds of $billion of US farm subsidies already cause.

Clever.

Posted by John | Report as abusive
 

Fine! Fine! The both sides will feel happy. Hi, Mike. And hi, John, thank you.

Posted by Wang Xu | Report as abusive
 

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