Ahead of debate, Biden team touts Pennsylvania economic progress vs. Trump’s revenge tour

President Joe Biden, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

President Joe Biden speaking at a Black Voters for Biden-Harris event at Girard College in Philadelphia on June 2, 2024. (Photo: Sean Kitchen)

By Sean Kitchen

June 26, 2024

The Biden-Harris campaign is touting Pennsylvania’s economic record ahead of Thursday’s debate with former president Donald Trump. 

President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign is hammering home the president’s economic record throughout the commonwealth ahead of Thursday’s debate with former president Donald Trump. 

The Biden-Harris campaign held events with labor leaders and local elected officials across Western Pennsylvania uplifting the president’s labor record while slamming Trump’s economic record, which included 275,000 Pennsylvanians losing their jobs and an unemployment rate of 7.4% by the end of his first term.  

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate is at 3.4% and is hovering around its lowest numbers in the past 40 years. 

Pennsylvania is also part of a $50 million paid media campaign in June that contrasts Biden’s economic agenda with Trump’s. Biden’s campaign released an ad on Tuesday called “No Plan” that hits Trump’s focus on revenge and cutting taxes for the very rich. 

The Center for American Progress warns that Trump’s tax cuts will be offset and paid for by middle and lower income families through tariffs placed on imports. These tariffs could raise the cost of groceries and other everyday items on families by $5,100 to $8,300.  

“Heading into Thursday’s presidential debate, we will make sure voters in every corner of the Commonwealth see the clear choice: After Donald Trump sold out Pennsylvania workers, tanked the state’s economy and raised costs for working families, President Biden has delivered 500,000 new jobs to Pennsylvania, spurred new business growth across the state, and made record investments in our roads and bridges and ports,” Jack Doyle, Communications Director for Biden for President in Pennsylvania said in a statement.

“Trump is only interested in serving himself and Pennsylvanians need to come together to defeat him at the ballot box this fall.”

Last week marked a major milestone for the Biden administration’s first term. More than 1 million workers and retirees across the country had their pensions saved thanks to the American Rescue Plan (ARP), and this includes more than 52,000 workers and retirees in Pennsylvania. This was made possible thanks to the Butch-Lewis Act, a provision inside the ARP.  

To date, the commonwealth has received close to $24 billion in funding from Biden’s major legislative accomplishments in his first term. This includes $16.7 billion in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, with over $11 billion going towards repairing crumbling roads and bridges, and $7.3 billion from the ARP.  

Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is helping seniors across Pennsylvania and the country save thousands of dollars on prescription drugs and insulin, which was capped at $35 per month for Medicare recipients.  

“President Biden is running for reelection to continue building an economy from the bottom-up and the middle-out against Donald Trump who has promised to give even greater tax cuts to the rich if reelected,” Blair County Democrats Chair Gillian Kratzer said in a statement. 

“President Biden has put us on track for the Great American comeback: he’s grown the middle class, helped create over 15 million new jobs, and delivered record low unemployment.”


  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.

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