2020 Poll: Biden Unveils $700bn Recovery Plan

In this file photo taken on October 31, 2018, former US Vice President Joe Biden speaks in Bridgeton, Missouri.  SCOTT OLSON / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

 

Joe Biden unveiled a $700 billion plan Thursday to create jobs and invest in new technologies in an aggressive challenge to President Donald Trump on economic policy, as the warring sides clashed in key election battleground Pennsylvania.

The Democratic challenger presented his sweeping “Build Back Better” proposal, a contrast to Trump’s “America first” agenda, during a speech at a metalworks plant in a swing state critical to either candidate’s victory in November.

Vice President Mike Pence was simultaneously barnstorming Pennsylvania, defending his boss’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and assuring voters that Trump was best qualified to revive the sputtering economy.

Biden’s manufacturing and innovation plan aims to bring back positions lost during the coronavirus pandemic, and create more than five million new jobs by investing in domestic production and research and shrinking foreign supply chains.

The multi-pronged approach also tightens “Buy America” guidelines, promotes new tax rules including hiking the corporate tax rate to 28 percent from 21 percent, and expands union access to empower American workers.

“That’s what my plan is, to build back better,” Biden told ironworkers after touring their 101-year-old factory near Scranton, the blue-collar city where the former vice president grew up.

The goal, he said, is “to sharpen America’s competitive edge” in new industries like battery technology, artificial intelligence, biotechnologies and clean energy. “That’s the future.”

Biden said he rejects the “defeatist view” that automation and globalization will sap well-paid US jobs.

“American manufacturing was the functioning arsenal of democracy in World War II, and has to be part of the engine of new prosperity in America now,” he said.

Biden’s plan to protect American workers underscores a recognition that, despite Trump’s poor job approval numbers, voters still see him as stronger than Biden on handling the economy.

But Biden drew a sharp contrast with his billionaire rival, highlighting his working-class upbringing and even making a side-trip to his old Scranton neighborhood.

Trump won in 2016 largely on the promise of bringing back lost manufacturing jobs.

Biden accused him of turning his back on the working class.

“Trump has simply given up,” Biden said, adding that American families are “paying the price for this administration’s incompetence.”

While the president repeatedly invokes American business as a leading force in economic revival, Biden’s plan relies on the federal government to “bolster American industrial and technological strength.”

It proposes a $400 billion investment in domestic product procurement, and $300 billion for research and development as well as breakthrough technologies including reusable energy and electric vehicles.

“This will be a mobilization of R&D and procurement investment in ways not seen since the Great Depression and World War II,” Biden said.

– Administration ‘incompetence’ –

Pence’s arrival in state signaled the White House’s all-out fight for Pennsylvania, which flipped to Trump in 2016 but now leans towards Biden.

“I know, not far from here Joe Biden is at another company, talking about his plans for the economy going forward. And I think the choice has never been clearer for the American people,” Pence told a roundtable in the town of Malvern.

Later in Philadelphia at a Fraternal Order of Police rally, he attacked “radical” leftists for “trying to smear police officers.”

The remark reflected the intense debates over racial injustice and policing that have marked coast-to-coast protests following the police killing of African-American man George Floyd.

Trump’s team also accused Biden of aligning with his progressive former campaign rival Bernie Sanders to unveil joint policy proposals Wednesday, including ambitious climate change mandates, that would plunge the country “into economic catastrophe.”

Biden, meanwhile, savaged Trump for being woefully unprepared to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 133,000 Americans, and ignoring the plight of working-class families.

“He’s exactly the wrong person to lead in this moment,” Biden said.

Biden holds a sizeable 8.8 percent lead over Trump nationally, according to a RealClearPolitics poll aggregate.

The Democrat also leads in swing states that Trump won in 2016, including Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

AFP

President Buhari Condemns Terrorist Attack In Florida

buhari-sadPresident Muhammadu Buhari has condemned Sunday’s terrorist attack on the Pulse Night Club, Orlando, Florida, describing it as ‘‘criminal’’ and ‘‘cowardly’’. 

In a letter to the Ambassador of the United States in Nigeria, James Entwistle, President Buhari conveyed Nigeria’s heartfelt sympathy to President Barrack Obama and the people of United States of America.

The President also assured the United States of Nigeria’s continued support and cooperation in the fight against terrorism.

‘‘President Buhari extends his most sincere condolences to the families, relatives and friends of the victims.

‘‘The President condemns such criminal, cowardly attack, wherever it might occur, as an attack on all decent, democratic, peaceful people.

“Every terrorist attack only strengthens Nigeria’s resolve to stand shoulder to shoulder with the United States and other countries in the frontline of the war on terror,’’ the letter, which was signed by the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari read.

President Buhari also called ‘‘on all peace-loving nations to commit themselves whole-heartedly to multilateral cooperation and collaborative actions aimed at eradicating the scourge of international terrorism.’’

Various Americans on Monday made statements in connection to the killings that took place in Orlando, central Florida in the United States.

A rampage had occurred on Sunday at a gay nightclub, with at least 50 people killed and 53 more wounded.

In his White House briefing, President Barack Obama said Americans were bonded in grief, outrage and “resolve to defend our people”, after “an act of terror and an act of hate”.Orlando Shooting

He described the incident as the ‘worst mass shooting in U.S. history’ and ordered that the American flags be lowered to half-staff to honor the victims of the attack.

Obama, Biden Others React To Orlando Killings

Barack Obama, Joe Biden, OrlandoVarious Americans on Monday made statements in connection to the killings that took place in Orlando, central Florida in the United States.

A rampage had occurred on Sunday at a gay nightclub, with at least 50 people killed and 53 more wounded.

In his White House briefing, President Barack Obama said Americans were bonded in grief, outrage and “resolve to defend our people”, after “an act of terror and an act of hate”.Orlando Shooting

He described the incident as the ‘worst mass shooting in U.S. history’ and ordered that the American flags be lowered to half-staff to honor the victims of the attack.

In a statement by his spokesman, Vice President Joe Biden “offered his prayers for all those killed and injured in the shooting and sends his condolences to all the families and loved ones of the victims”.

“Grudge In His Heart”

US presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, on her part said the attack was a tragedy that required a serious response.

Also reacting to the shooting was the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus who issued a statement saying they were “horrified by the tragic shooting”.

Seddique Mateen, the father of the attacker, Omar Mateen, said he did not know that his son had a “grudge in his heart”.

Omar was shot dead by the police.

Mr Mateen said he did not understand why his son carried out the shooting at the Pulse nightclub.

He had earlier said his son was angered after seeing two men kissing in Miami.

According to the BBC, in a statement posted online and addressed to people in his native Afghanistan, Seddique Mateen said his son was “a very good boy”, who had a wife and a child.

“I don’t know what caused it,” he said. “I never figured out that he had a grudge in his heart….I am grief-stricken.”

Ukraine Peace Deal Uncertain As Rebels Show No Sign Of Surrender

UkraineAn agreement to avert wider conflict in Ukraine was uncertain on Monday, with pro-Moscow separatist gunmen showing no sign of surrendering government buildings they have seized.

The separatists have occupied government buildings across swathes of eastern Ukraine over the past two weeks

U.S. and European officials say they will hold Moscow responsible and impose new economic sanctions.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Kiev, where he is expected to announce a package of technical assistance.

The visit is likely to be more important as a symbol of support than for any specific promises Biden makes in public.

“He will call for urgent implementation of the agreement reached in Geneva last week while also making clear … that there will be mounting costs for Russia if they choose a destabilizing rather than constructive course in the days ahead,” a senior administration official told reporters.

Russia, Ukraine, the European Union and the United States signed off on the agreement in Geneva on Thursday designed to lower tension in the worst confrontation between Russia and the West since the Cold War.

The agreement calls for occupied buildings to be vacated under the auspices of envoys from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

But no sooner had the accord been signed than both sides accused the other of breaking it, while the pro-Moscow rebels disavowed the pledge to withdraw from occupied buildings.