President Joe Biden on Monday argued he isn’t raising taxes to pay for his ambitious $2.1 trillion plans on infrastructure and social programs but is asking wealthy and corporations to ‘pay their fair share.’
‘Is it more important to shield millionaires from paying their fair share, or is it more important that every child gets a real opportunity to succeed from an early age and ease the burden on working families,’ the president said during a visit to Tidewater Community College in Portsmouth, Virginia.
President Biden, along with Jill Biden, were in the southern part of Virginia, as the Biden administration starts a blitzkrieg to sell its $4.1 trillion in federal spending package amid negotiations with Republicans.
Monday’s focus was on education – the first lady is a fulltime teacher. Their first stop was at Yorktown Elementary School where the first couple heard from fifth graders about what it was like having school at home. The Bidens then visited the community college. As part of his American Families Plan, Biden wants to offer two years free community college tuition to all Americans.
Both his $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan and his $1.8 trillion American Families Plan feature heavy education components – everything from money to fix school buildings and replace old pipes to funds for free universal pre-K and more teachers.
The president plans to pay for his jobs plan with a hike on corporate tax rates from 21 percent to 28 percent and impose a global minimum tax on corporations. To pay for his families plan, he would hike the tax rate on capital gains to 39.6 percent and raise the rate for the top one 1 percent of income earners to 38.6 percent.
Republicans countered that the rise in corporate taxes would send companies and jobs overseas. They simply say the families plan – which includes a massive amount of social programs for education, paid family and medical leave and extended tax cuts for low-and- middle income workers – is a non started.
Biden defended his approach, saying he’s asking for people and companies to pay their share.
‘It doesn’t add a single penny to our deficit, it’s paid for by making sure corporate America and the wealthiest 1%,’ he said of his proposals. ‘Just pay their fair share. I come from the corporate capital of the world. More corporations are incorporated in the state of Delaware, and all the rest of the nation combined. And I’m not anti corporate, but it’s about time they start paying their fair share.’
President Joe Biden argued he isn’t raising taxes to pay for his ambitious $2.1 trillion plans on infrastructure and social programs but asking corporations and the wealthy to ‘pay their fair share’
First lady Jill Biden applauds President Joe Biden after his remarks
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden, tour an HVAC workshop at Tidewater Community College, in Portsmouth, Va.
First lady Jill Biden, a fulltime teacher, helped President Biden sell the education component of his jobs and families plans
In his remarks, Biden pointed out the amount of people hurt by the coronavirus pandemic, including a disproportionate number of women.
He also argued Republican voters, along with some mayors and governors, support his approach. He needs at least 10 Republican senators to support his proposals to move them through the Senate.
‘This will grow the economy,’ he said. ‘I think there’s overwhelming bipartisan support for this. If you look at the polling data, Republican voters overwhelmingly support it. Now I just got to get some of my Republican colleagues to support.’
Before his remarks, the Bidens visited a classroom that taught HVAC repair where they watched a demonstration and chatted with students.
Earlier Monday, the first couple visited an elementary school where a group of fifth graders gave them their honest assessment of what it was like learning from home, sharing how they didn’t like it but at least could sneak in naps.
The kids at Yorktown Elementary School are back in the classroom four days a week (Wednesday is for cleaning) and sat at desks with plastic shields around the them. Everyone wore face masks.
President Biden reminded the kids that the first lady teaches full time and asked them how they liked learning from home.
‘It was a little difficult with all the glitches,’ one girl said. ‘I definitely prefer it this way though.’
One boy chimed in: ‘I didn’t like virtual. It was terrible.’
Another student pointed out when their teacher Mrs. Bertamini was helping someone else ‘you could eat.’
And another noted: ‘If we were really tired we could take a little nap.’
Jill Biden, who teaches at a Northern Virginia Community College, laughed and said her students do the same.
‘You just turn off the camera. I’ve seen that,’ the first lady said.
Republicans have criticized Biden for not opening schools soon enough but none of them voted for the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill that contained money to help schools reopen – extra cleaning, supplies, and more staff and teachers. Biden has said he wants schools to reopen safely.
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden were welcomed to a fifth grade classroom at Yorktown Elementary School on Monday
After their school stop and on their way to the next location, President Biden stopped the motorcade at Yorktown High School to greet well wishers
President Biden posed for a photo with the little boy
The president also asked the kids what they wanted to be when the grew up and got a variety of answers: a fashion designer, a chef, a hair stylist.
The students were working on a project where they were designing structures in case they were shipwrecked. The school has a lot of children of military members as Naval Weapons Station Yorktown is nearby.
Some of the less optimistic students were planning where to bury their teacher should their shelter fail.
‘In case I fail, I’m going to bury my teacher right here,’ one student said.
‘I think your teacher can handle it,’ Jill Biden noted.
‘That’s pretty cool,’ the president said.
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden examined the structures student built to show what they would do in case of a shipwreck
President Biden also asked the kids what they wanted to be when they grew up
One less optimistic student was planning where to bury his teacher if his structure failed
Their next stop is Tidewater Community College. En route there, the Bidens stopped the presidential motorcade in front of the local high school, where they greeted a group of students and staff, including a group of Navy ROTC.
The two plans Biden is pitching includes $1 trillion in spending on education and childcare over 10 years and $800 billion in tax credits aimed at middle- and low-income families. It also includes a proposal for universal pre-K, two year college tuition and more money for teachers.
The first couple, who wore face masks as they left the White House, are kicking off a weeklong push by the Biden administration to sell its massive social welfare and infrastructure plans.
The first lady heads out West on Wednesday to visit Utah, Nevada and Colorado. Vice President Kamala Harris will be in Milwaukee on Tuesday and in Providence, R.I., on Wednesday. Doug Emhoff will visit the Lehigh Valley on a Wednesday. President Biden visits Connecticut on Wednesday and New Orleans on Thursday.
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden headed to Yorktown, Virginia, on Monday as his administration starts a blitzkrieg to sell its $4.1 trillion in federal spending package
The Bidens will visit two schools – Yorktown Elementary School and Tidewater Community College
Polls show conflicted feelings over Biden’s $2.3 trillion jobs package – a massive infrastructure bill that Republicans have criticized for containing items other than tradition infrastructure, such as housing for the elderly and a Climate Corp.
An April Ipsos Poll found that only 45% supported the plan but many elements in the proposal had strong support, such as the repair or replacement of American ports, railways, bridges, and highways (79%) and investing in home-based care for the elderly or disabled (78%).
Biden plans to pay for his ambitious jobs agenda with a hike in corporate taxes.
He’ll also be pitching his second proposal, a $1.8 trillion families plan he laid out in his speech to Congress last week. Called a ‘human infrastructure’ bill, it focuses on social programs such as education and health care and is funded through a tax hike on the wealthy.
Many of the items – the expanded Child Tax Credit, expanded paid family and medical leave, free tuition and universal pre-K – poll well with voters.
The president has pushed for schools to reopen safely and included money for that in his COVID rescue package that Congress passed in March.
‘He does believe that schools should be able to reopen in September, and reopen safely, following the CDC guidelines,’ White House senior adviser Anita Dunn said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.
But, she noted, it’s an ‘unpredictable virus’ and ‘we can’t look in a crystal ball and say what September looks like.’
Republicans are balking at the cost of Biden’s proposals and the expanded role in government the programs would bring.
They’ve countered Biden’s infrastructure plan with a smaller proposal of their own that focuses on tradition items and have called the president’s families plan a nonstarter.
Later this week, Jill Biden will head to the West Coast and Joe Biden goes to New Orleans
Jill Biden’s face mask had pearl details on its bands, which matched her pearl bracelet
President Biden gave Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam an elbow bump when he and first lady Jill were greeted by Northam and wife Pamela Northam upon their arrival in Newport News, Va.
Democrats control both chambers of Congress but hold a narrow margin in the House. In the Senate, Biden needs at least 10 Republican votes to move his proposals through the legislative process.
As part of negotiations, Biden will host congressional leaders in both parties in the White House next week on May 12. It’s a different step from negotiations in the $1.9 trillion COVID relief plan passed in March, which did not garner a single Republican vote.
‘We’re going to work with Republicans. We’re going to find common ground. You know, the Senate last week passed by an overwhelming margin, a part of a water infrastructure bill that’s part of- related to our jobs plan. So I think you’re starting to see some progress here,’ White House chief of staff Ron Klain said on CBS’ ‘Face the Nation’ on Sunday.
The president is considering breaking up his American Jobs Plan in separate bills to help shepherd them through Congress.
‘President Biden has been clear that he knows this is a negotiation, that he knows that negotiation requires compromise at some point, and that he wants to move this package forward in a bipartisan way, if that’s possible,’ senior White House adviser Anita Dunn said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. ‘We’re looking forward to having discussions. We are open to people’s ideas. This is discussion time and idea time for the White House.’
That plan, which focuses on infrastructure, has Republican support on traditional items like repairing roads and bridges along with expanding broadband internet access.
The GOP has pitched a a $568 billion plan that focuses on roads, transit systems, and broadband internet.
‘Frankly, if the White House is going to work with us, this is a deal we can do,’ Republican Senator Rob Portman said Sunday on ‘Meet the Press.’