Biden to Pitch Spending Plans at Ohio Community College

The president toured the Cuyahoga Community College Manufacturing Technology Center in Cleveland.,

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Biden pitches his spending plans during a visit to an Ohio community college.

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President Biden traveled to Cleveland on Thursday to make his case for his $1.7 trillion infrastructure plan, and called out Republicans for opposing spending in Congress while touting it to constituents.CreditCredit…Doug Mills/The New York Times
  • May 27, 2021, 9:48 a.m. ET

President Biden delivered an impassioned speech at a Cleveland community college on Thursday pressing his case for trillions of dollars in spending on infrastructure and improving the social safety net, even as he continued sparring with Republicans in Washington over his proposals.

“If we make these investments now, in 50 years, people will look back — and not even that long — your children or grandchildren will look back and say this was the moment when America won the future,” Mr. Biden said after touring the Cuyahoga Community College Manufacturing Technology Center.

In the speech, Mr. Biden urged support for his $1.7 trillion American Jobs Plan and his $1.8 trillion American Families Plan, saying that they are necessary to continue the economic expansion that has begun as the threat of the pandemic has receded over the last several months.

But he warned that the progress could be interrupted if Congress does not back his proposals.

“From a year of darkness, we’re now emerging into the light,” Mr. Biden said, citing strong job growth in the first three months of his term. “We’re going to build on the incredible progress that we made, and set America on a sustainable path to faster, more inclusive economic growth.”

In his speech, Mr. Biden called out Republican lawmakers for being hypocritical, saying they praised in their districts the benefits of Mr. Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan even as they voted against it in Congress.

He promised not to “embarrass anyone” and did not name them. But he held out for the cameras a list of 13 names on a printed card with the title “Republicans Who Touted ARP Investments.” White House photographers quickly snapped pictures that showed exactly who he was talking about.

A White House official later said they had not planned for Mr. Biden to show the list of names.

Mr. Biden also used his remarks to directly confront Republicans about their opposition to raising taxes on businesses and the wealthy as a way of paying for the spending and investments that Democrats are pushing for.

In the speech Mr. Biden framed the issue as a choice between giving breaks to corporations or supporting workers.

“A lot of companies have done extremely well in this crisis, and good for them. Good for them,” he said. “The simple fact is, though, corporate profits are the highest they’ve been in decades. And workers’ pay is the lowest level it’s been in 70 years.”

On Friday, the president is expected to release a $6 trillion budget for fiscal year 2022 that envisions large deficits throughout the next decade.

The community college in Cleveland is the location of the last campaign rally that Mr. Biden was scheduled to have as a presidential candidate in March 2020, before the coronavirus pandemic forced him to cancel large rallies. Aides said he decided to return to the location to underscore how far the country has come in the 14 months since then.

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