Biden to return to Pittsburgh area Wednesday as part of three-day swing through Pennsylvania

Jonathan D. Salant, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on

Published in Political News

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is returning to Pennsylvania next week, including a stop in the Pittsburgh area, the White House said Friday.

Biden first is to travel to Scranton, where he was born, on Tuesday to talk taxes. He then is scheduled to visit the Pittsburgh area on Wednesday and, after returning to Washington, go to Philadelphia on Thursday. The three-day visit is another sign of how large Pennsylvania, the most populous swing state, looms in the 2024 presidential election. Biden carried the state and won the presidency in 2020 after former President Donald Trump did the same in 2016.

His appearances come the week before the April 23 Pennsylvania primary and follow two recent visits to the Keystone State by Vice President Kamala Harris. She spoke in Philadelphia last week and in Pittsburgh in February.

Biden has proposed asking wealthy Americans and corporations to pay more, and the campaign said that taxes would be the subject of his speech a day after the April 15 deadline to file income taxes.

"The address will drive home a simple question: Do you think the tax code should work for rich people or for the middle class?" the campaign said.

The president, over unanimous objections by congressional Republicans, also won a funding boost for the Internal Revenue Service to increase its audits of wealthy taxpayers to make sure they're not shortchanging the government at tax time.

The president's Pennsylvania tour will come after Trump speaks at a rally in the Lehigh Valley on Saturday. As president, Trump campaigned in the region — a major swing area — a week before the 2020 election. The former president previously traveled to Harrisburg in February and addressed a National Rifle Association-sponsored gathering.


Gov. Josh Shapiro, a member of the Biden campaign's national advisory board, attacked Trump over his position on abortion rights. Trump, fulfilling a 2016 promise, nominated three U.S. Supreme Court justices who later voted to overturn Roe v. Wade and end the constitutional right to abortion.

"From overturning Roe v. Wade and unleashing extreme abortion bans all across the country, to trying to overturn the last election and destroy our democracy, to promising to kick 1.2 million Pennsylvanians off of their health care, Donald Trump's record and agenda are too dangerous and extreme for Pennsylvania," Shapiro said.

Trump enacted a massive tax cut during his tenure, which gave 65% of its benefits went to the richest 20% of taxpayers and 52% to the top 10%, according to the Tax Policy Center. The tax law increased the federal deficit by an estimated $1.9 trillion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Many of the provisions expire next year and Republicans have called for making the tax cuts permanent, which the CBO said would increase the deficit by $3.5 trillion over a decade.

Biden's first campaign stop of 2024 was near Valley Forge, and his first appearance after this year's State of the Union address was in the Philadelphia suburbs.

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