What you need to know about President Biden's visit to Virginia Beach

Posted at 7:11 AM, Feb 28, 2023

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — President Joseph R. Biden Jr. will travel to Virginia on Tuesday to discuss health care and his efforts to make it more affordable, according to a White House press statement.

He's set to arrive at Naval Air Station Oceana at 1:45 p.m. and begin speaking at 3 p.m.

The visit comes as the debate over the debt ceiling looms this summer. The federal government reached its borrowing limit in January, but the U.S. has taken steps to keep the government from defaulting on its debt through the summer.

Biden called Republicans out on the issue during his State of the Union address earlier this month, saying some in the party want the programs to "sunset." His claims were met by boos from Republicans during the speech.

Dr. Jesse Richman, a political science professor at Old Dominion University, sees Tuesday's visit as a start to the showdown over the debt ceiling.

"One of the things presidents is they use the bully pulpit in these kinds of situations. You go to the public. You make speeches to try and generate attention and popular support for your position," said Richman.

He also believes it's a political move by the president, who is up for re-election in 2024, although he hasn't formally announced he's running.

"Biden is coming to Virginia in part because Virginia is a state he needs to win in 2024," he said.

He's also choosing to come to a congressional district Republicans flipped last November with Rep. Jen Kiggans' victory.

Ahead of Election Day in November, Kiggans campaigned in Virginia Beach with former Vice President Mike Pence.

News 3 asked Kiggans if Republicans want to cut Social Security and Medicare. "We have no intention of cutting social security or Medicare for people that are receiving those benefits or are close to receiving those benefits," Kiggans replied. "Those are my patient population. I'm a geriatric nurse practitioner by trade."

Republicans has blasted Biden's upcoming visit. The Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) said voters would hear " empty promises and falsehoods" during the speech.

"If Democrats truly want progress on healthcare, they should work with Congresswoman Kiggans, a veteran healthcare professional, rather than trying to obstruct her and the Republican House majority from doing what the American people elected them to do," RPV said in a statement.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin also addressed the visit during a Sunday appearance on a Fox News show. "Joe Biden has been to Ukraine. Now, he's coming to Virginia. He has yet to go to Ohio and he wants to talk about healthcare. Why doesn't he go some place where people actually have health concerns?" Youngkin said in reference to the train derailment.

Richman said it's unlikely there will be cuts to social security or Medicare as a result of these talks. "The debt ceiling will be increased at some point during the summer. The question is what the negotiations will look like," he said.



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