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President Joe Biden will visit Philadelphia area following his State of the Union address

Julia Terruso, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Political News

PHILADELPHIA — President Joe Biden will return to the Philadelphia area next Friday, the day after his State of the Union address in Washington.

The speech, eight months ahead of the election, is a high-profile chance for Biden to argue his case for staying in office, and comes two days after Super Tuesday when former President Donald Trump is expected to get even closer to clinching his hold on the Republican nomination.

The speech could also come on the eve of a partial government shutdown if Congress fails to pass a bill to fund the government.

The U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are among the federal agencies slated to run out of funding if Congress does not pass a spending plan by March 8, the same day as Biden’s Pennsylvania visit. Other agencies, such as the Department of Defense, will be funded through March 22 under a short-term deal Congress passed this week.

Details of where Biden will visit in the Philly area the day after his speech — or his specific timing — have not yet been released. The White House release said the president will participate in campaign events.

Pennsylvania will be key to Biden and Trump in the presidential election, where both the city and the suburbs are essential to a winning coalition statewide.

In the last few months Biden’s been a frequent visitor to both the city and its outlying suburbs. He held a fundraiser in Philadelphia in December, kicked off the year with a rally in Montgomery County after visiting Valley Forge National Historical Park and visited small businesses in Allentown less than a week later. He spent Martin Luther King Jr. Day volunteering in the city.

Trump visited the state twice last month, addressing the National Rifle Association in Harrisburg and unveiling golden sneakers at Sneaker Con in Philadelphia.

 

After his stop in Pennsylvania, Biden’s slated to travel to another battleground, Georgia, as the campaign ramps up its voter mobilization efforts.

Biden narrowly trails Trump in most polling of the state. He has struggled to connect his administration’s achievements to voters who remain concerned about the economy, despite low unemployment and a decrease in inflation.

The State of the Union and the Pennsylvania visit will be opportunities for Biden to sell his accomplishments and, if delivered strongly, bat back concerns about his age, which have dominated the narrative around his candidacy recently.

Last year, Biden got high marks for an address in which he tussled with Republicans live and assuaged some skepticism over his bid for reelection.

According to aides cited by CNN, this year’s speech will be heavy on economic populism, with calls for higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy and a push for lowering health-care costs.

Given the possibility of a shutdown, U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R- Pa., argued this week for disinviting Biden from speaking to Congress, contending the time slotted for the speech would be better used for a discussion on the southern border.


©2024 The Philadelphia Inquirer, LLC. Visit at inquirer.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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