President Biden stopped by Scranton on Wednesday afternoon to promote his Build Back Better plan. Biden spoke at an invitation-only event at the Electric City Trolley Museum.
Amid declining approval rates, the president traveled across the country to defend the proposal, which is estimated to cost between $ 1.75 and $ 1.9 trillion. It’s a watered-down plan from the original $ 3.5 trillion budget. With the Republicans’ hindsight, the Democrats would try to make it go through the process of reconciliation. This means that instead of the 60 votes required to pass a bill, a simple majority is required, which Democrats currently have, with Vice President Kamala Harris providing the deciding vote in the event of a Senate deadlock at 50- 50.
According to the White House, the top three priorities of the Build Back Better plan are to cut costs, lower taxes for families and create jobs. The high price will be paid by increasing taxes intended primarily for businesses and wealthy individuals. %.
Missy Bower of Factoryville supports President Biden and watched the procession go by around 5 p.m.
“I think he has a lot on his plate. He can’t handle everything to our liking when there is so much to do, ”said Bower.
Lynn Stevenson, also from Factoryville, shared her dismay at the slow schedule for the Build Back Better plan. She believes Democrats are not united on the issue is one of the reasons the bill is stalled in Congress.
“I think with more help from our Democratic representatives [Biden] would do more. We have Democrats on the Republican side on important things like the voting bill and infrastructure, ”Stevenson said.
Stevenson refers to Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Krysten Sinema (D-AZ), who are the main Democratic dissidents in parts of the Build Back Better plan. Sinema’s main criticism is the high price, while Manchin criticized infrastructure that is getting greener and moving away from fossil fuels. Manchin represents West Virginia, a heavy coal mining region.
Scranton resident Elaine Custred had a different take on the president’s professional performance since taking office in January.
“He could do a better job. Nationally, it could do better things for people, ”Custred said. Despite his disapproval, Cusred said it was nice to see the President in Scranton.
A small crowd gathered to protest the president’s arrival. Wearing “Trump MAGA” hats, American flags and various signs, they made their presence known on several occasions. Several signs laden with profanity were visible to the presidential procession. Others repeated popular right-wing phrases like “all lives matter” or called President “sleepy Joe”. A protester led the crowd singing through a megaphone. Individual protesters have refused The Wood Word’s attempts to interview or photograph them.
Despite the protests, pro-Biden signs were also on display. Some closer to the museum read “Biden won, Trump lost” or just “build better.”
Craig Beavers of Scranton has expressed his disappointment with the protests.
” It’s disrespectful. Everyone should tolerate the beliefs of others, but sometimes they go too far, ”Beavers said.
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