At home in Scranton, facing a fight in D.C., Biden pitches his sprawling domestic agenda

President Joe Biden pitches his Build Back Better agenda during a stop in his childhood hometown of Scranton, Pa., on Wednesday, 10/20/21 (Capital-Star photo by Patrick Abdalla).

President declares “I think people are beginning to figure out what’s at stake”

SCRANTON, Pa. — President Joe Biden took the stage Wednesday in his childhood hometown surrounded by striking images of America’s infrastructure.

A retired Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority railcar sitting to his far right offered an example of how neglected the country’s infrastructure has been. Its letters were barely visible. The door’s paint was scuffed and faded.

Next to it, however, stood a refurbished trolley car, decked out in patriotic pennants and “Build Back Better” signs.

Biden used his speech at Electric City Trolley Museum in downtown Scranton to argue his signature domestic agenda will make the nation’s infrastructure resemble the tricked-out trolley instead of the rusted-out railcar.

That change will improve the nation’s economy and environment, he said.

“Did you realize the Chinese are now building a train that will go up to 300 miles per hour?” Biden asked. “You say, ‘What difference does that make, Biden?’ Well, guess what? If you can take a train from here to Washington much faster than you can go in an automobile, you take a train. We will take literally millions of automobiles off the road, saving tens of millions of barrels of oil.”

After spending the first few months of his administration dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and getting the nation vaccinated, the president has moved on to expansive infrastructure and economic plans.

They would include massive investments in transportation, broadband, early childhood education, and other areas. However, the razor-thin majority Democrats hold in Congress has meant a protracted and frustrating legislative fight for the president.

He’s not giving up. Read more