Biden to unveil $700B jobs plan in Pennsylvania
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Thursday will unveil a $700 billion spending plan aimed at revitalizing the U.S. manufacturing sector through new federal government procurement programs and investments in domestic research and development.
Senior campaign officials briefed on the plan say it aims to create 5 million new American jobs, in addition to bringing back the millions of jobs that have been lost over the past few months to the coronavirus lockdown.
The Biden campaign is calling it the “Build Back Better” plan, and it will take a hawkish approach toward China while steering new investment opportunities to women and racial minorities.
“It’s an aggressive plan,” a senior campaign official said. “The vice president believes it’s not the time to just build it back the way things were before … it’s time to imagine and build a new American economy for the next generation … that will cut everyone into the deal.”
Biden will unveil the plan after a visit to a metal works plant in Dunmore, Pa., which is near his hometown of Scranton. The former vice president has visited Pennsylvania more than any other state since the coronavirus lockdown began.
The Keystone State is a vital piece to Biden’s path to the White House. President Trump carried Pennsylvania by about 45,000 votes in 2016, becoming the first GOP presidential candidate to win there since 1988.
The RealClearPolitics average of polls in Pennsylvania shows Biden with a 6.5-point lead over Trump.
However, the polls routinely find that Trump is more trusted than Biden on the economy, even after a months-long economic downturn brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
The plan Biden will unveil on Thursday will focus heavily on investing in policies that ensure goods and services are “made in all of America by all of America’s workers,” the senior campaign official said.
The first leg of the plan includes a $400 billion investment in federal purchases of American products, such as steel, cement, concrete and other materials that will be used to rebuild U.S. infrastructure.
The plan also calls for a $300 billion investment in research and development for emerging technologies, including electric vehicles, 5G, artificial intelligence and lightweight materials.
Outside of the direct spending, Biden will propose new credit facilities and tax breaks for small manufacturers, particularly those run by women and people of color. The former vice president will propose penalties on companies that receive federal money and take their investments overseas.
Biden will aim to steer federal investments toward parts of the country that are often overlooked, such as rural and urban communities that have not historically attracted big federal dollars.
The presumptive Democratic nominee will also strike a hawkish tone toward China, with a senior official saying that he’ll take “aggressive trade enforcement actions [and] confront foreign efforts to steal American intellectual property.”
The plan is the first of four economic proposals Biden will roll out over the next few weeks.
The future proposals will focus on clean energy, the caregiving and education workforce, and addressing racial inequality in the economy.
The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.