Joe Biden makes pitch for economic agenda in childhood home of Scranton

President Biden on Wednesday returned to his childhood hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania in a bid to salvage his economic, social, and environmental agenda by emphasizing his blue-collar credentials.

Mr. Biden touted his working-class upbringing in Scranton, saying those experiences shaped the agenda he is urging Democrats to get across the finish line.
 
Giving a shout-out to relatives sitting in the front row, Mr. Biden recalled attending mass at a nearby Catholic church and playing shortstop on a local little league team.
 
“No matter how long you live here in Scranton, it’s a place that climbs into your heart and it never really leaves you and that’s the God’s truth,” he said. “There is something special about it.”

Over the years, Mr. Biden has repeatedly referenced his Scranton roots as a political move to woo working-class voters.

He cast the 2020 presidential election against former President Trump as a contest between “Scranton and Wall Street.” During his time in office, Mr. Biden became known as “Pennsylvania’s third senator” because of his Scranton roots and the fact that large portions of his home state of Delaware are part of the Philadelphia suburbs.

But Mr. Biden also left Scranton in 1953, just before he turned 11, when his father Joe Sr. sought a new job.  
 
During last year’s election, Mr. Trump told a crowd near Scranton that Mr. Biden “deserted” them.

“I guess he was born here, but he left you, folks. He left you for another state,” Mr. Trump said.
 
Still, Mr. Biden hasn’t hesitated to highlight his ties to Scranton when he’s needed a boost during grueling campaigns. He’s hoping a similar bid will pay off for his teetering agenda.

Mr. Biden has conceded that key elements of his proposals would be dropped or scaled back, and the final price tag will be smaller than the $3.5 trillion he originally wanted.

In recent days, Mr. Biden has floated spending between $1.9 trillion to $2.2 trillion over 10 years.
 
It’s unclear if that’s enough to woo Democrats who remain sharply divided about how large the package should be and what should be in it.

To reach the figure, Mr. Biden has sidelined several top priorities from the bill.

Already out, according to sources, is the $108 billion that Democrats earmarked to pay for at least two free years of community college for all students, regardless of citizenship status.

Also on the chopping block is making the child tax credit permanent. 

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

View original post