tv President Biden in Philadelphia at AFL-CIO Convention CSPAN June 14, 2022 8:34pm-9:14pm EDT
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outlines his economic agenda at the afl-cio convention in philadelphia. this is 40 minutes. >> ok, we are ready. so we are here ready to introduce the most pro union president in the history of the united states. we have been hearing that phrase a lot and we are going to be hearing it some more. before our next speaker comes
out, i want to talk to you about what that really means. day in and day out. we have a president who understands the issues and the vision of working people. i know he is a busy man and each day he gets a big briefing book that they handed to him when he gets on the plane and he goes to his meetings and reads up on it. this president does not need a briefing memo to talk to the afl-cio and 57 unions that represent workers. [applause] what it means to be the most pro union president in the history of the united states means having working people kept front and center in our nations plans for recovery and for the future. it means having a union member as secretary of labor, a
card-carrying union member. it means having a task force at the white house dedicated to work organizing and empowerment never done before. it means having an nlrb that is working to ban captive audience meetings. and it means having a champion in the oval office who knows that working people are the engine of our economy and the heartbeat of our communities in our country. and your work, your work in getting out the vote in 2020 made all of that possible. his commitment to our shared values made it a reality. sisters and brothers and
as they say in claymont, you all brung made to the dance. thank you. please have a seat everyone. you are a gigantic reason why i am standing here. standing here today as your president. i really mean it. from the beginning of my run for office back when i was a kid, it was labor, unions, that made a difference. at the time we were a right to work state and we change that, too. . i have never forgotten not only what you have done for me, but how importantly it meant to me and the country, to our country, what you have done for the country. i want to thank liz for being such a good friend for so long. the first woman to lead the afl-cio. born in union household. started as an organizer and she never stopped.
congratulations, congratulations. and congratulations to fred redmond, secretary of the treasury as well. i hope your daughter in law knows she is marrying into a union family. anyway, look. -- was not only a legendary labor leader, he was a close friend to me and to so many of you, a true friend. particularly when things were not going well, he was there. above all he was an american worker. no matter how high he rose through the ranks he never forgot where he came from. we use that phrase all the time, never forget where you came from. he never forgot, or forgot what this work is all about. before rich passed -- he gave me -- thank you. [cheers and applause]
pres. biden: he gave me the highest compliment i have ever gotten in my life and i mean it sincerely. he called me what your president just did, the most pro union president in history. i promised you i would be and i promise as long as i remain in this job i will be that. [cheers and applause] pres. biden: folks, thank you. [cheers and applause] pres. biden: i have to tell you, nothing made me prouder than that. that is why they made sure we put a former union president in as secretary of labor. marty walsh. he's going to learn how to speak english but he is real. i kid him all the time, i am
joking. he parks his car in a car barn, but he knows what he is doing. marty was here yesterday and he fights like hell for us all. just yesterday -- [cheers and applause] pres. biden: just yesterday i had a conversation, in conversation with our next senator from the state john fetterman. [cheers and applause] pres. biden: you are in a foxhole, you want john with you. i know he cannot wait to get back on the trail. there is no bigger, stronger voice for working people in this state than john, certainly no bigger one for that matter. we are joint here today by three great members of congress who flew with me on air force one. brendan boyle, donna northcross, and mary gay scanlon. by the way, they have all been
there when the votes were tough. they were there and they are great champions of unions. stacey abrams is here as well by the way. i'm going to ask you all a favor. help her in georgia. three things i learned about early on. one, she is loyal, too, she is capable, three, she is smarter than you. she knows what she is doing so help her out. thanks to all of you for coming along. we have come a long way in a short time. do you remember what our economy looked like before we took office? 3000 americans were dying every day from covid, 20 million americans had lost their job. so many americans lost their jobs my predecessor became just a second president in history to
leave office with fewer jobs in america than when he took office. but you stepped up. the other one was herbert hoover. just remember, remember those long lines of cars stretching miles back waiting for a box of food to be put back in their trunk? it was not just poor folks, it was middle class folks. a lot of nice cars in those lines. america created more billionaires during that crisis than any year in history. talk about a contrast. ordinary people waiting in line for and hour for a box of food. the policies of the past created more billionaires than ever in american history. folks, it is hard to believe but it is true. that is what we inherited. with your help, we went to work.
a vision that looks out from scranton, not down from wall street. wall street did not build this country. the middle-class built this country and unions built the middle class. i am not joking. without unions there would be no middle class. that is a fact. and by the way, there is a reason if you are the best trained workers in the world, that is not hyperbole, when you do well, everybody does well. investment bankers in america, they went on strike, not a lot would happen. but guess what? guess what? i tell this to my buddies. if the -- went on strike,
everything stops. i do not think you appreciate how critically important you all are. i'm not trying to be nice to you, it is just a fact. folks, we need an economy built from the middle out and the bottom up, not the top-down. because i know and the middle class does, the wealthy do very well. they are never hurt. but too often we have had an economy where the wealthy do better and better while the middle class gets left behind. so we went to work and changed that and started with the american rescue plan. that law helped 41 million people put food on their table. remember, they were in trouble putting food on their table. put money in the pockets of hard-working americans who were in trouble, being thrown out of
touch thrown out on the street because they could not pay the rent through no fault of their own. it gave them what my dad used to call just a little bit of breathing room. the next step was a bipartisan infrastructure law and now not only is the infrastructure -- is it infrastructure week, we have arrived at infrastructure decade. [cheers and applause] pres. biden: we have to remind people where it is coming from. we announced $3 billion this year to improve more than 3000 airports this year. this year. we announced $5 billion so union workers could get to work building a national network of electric vehicle charging stations. we announced the largest investment in public transit in american history, more than the entire m strack -- amtrak system when it started.
[cheers and applause] pres. biden: and the people we come from -- president obama used to always give me the good assignments. i remember one day he walked in and said, joe, fix detroit. ok, no problem. what i did not realize was i didn't not know a lot about the cities. the vast majority of people living in cities, jobs are out of town because they are not doing manufacturing in towns anymore. out of town. so we got a real system for them, a bus system. it changed it, growing. it's going to create more good jobs using products that are made in america. and folks, it's going to reduce pollution. it is making it safer and safer for folks to go to work every day. what this means for all of you is the simple proposition and i remember us having this
discussion, old buddy. when i think global warming, i think jobs. good paying union jobs. jobs you can raise a family on. jobs that cannot be outsourced. [cheers and applause] pres. biden: the infrastructure law is about more than rebuilding infrastructure. it is about rebuilding the middle class and that is why we made sure the infrastructure law included significant labor protections. for example, an overwhelming majority of the funds are subject to davis-bacon requirements. [cheers and applause] it is not just going to help unions. it is simple. if we are going to build infrastructure -- we don't talk enough, i'm not going to take the time today, but you know what? you don't just decide you want to be a pipefitter or
electrician or whatever else you want to pick. it takes four or five years of hard work, like going to college. fortunately you get paid to do some of it, but my point is people don't realize, and you have heard me do this at chambers of commerce, the best trained workers in the world. the folks rebuilding our country will earn a prevailing wage. another thing the law does is help expand apprenticeships. remember when business is said we will take care of the apprenticeships? come on, man. come on. union partnerships allow workers to earn while they learn. it matters because laying a strong foundation in the future of this country is about more
than having strong roads and bridges. it is about making sure that here in america, folks who work hard can live their lives with dignity and respect. that is why i continue to call on congress to finally pass the proact -- pro act which would make it easier for workers to organize. [cheers and applause] pres. biden: you know, when franklin roosevelt left the nlrb , it did not say you cannot have unions. it said we should encourage unions. that is what the nlrb says. big difference. i'm not just saying that to be prounion. i'm saying it because i am pro-american. folks -- [cheers and applause]
biden: that is the approach i have taken to build this economy. what has to be done, we brought down covid deaths by 90%. we open schools and businesses that were shuttered. we created the greatest job recovery in american history. people don't want to talk about it these days but it is true. since i became president we have created 8.7 million new jobs, an all-time record. even last month, 390,000 jobs and 600,000 new manufacturing jobs. they said manufacturing is dead in america. look, folks. our unemployment rate is near historic lows. 3.7% -- millions of americans -- i love these guys talking about
-- one of these guys left my employment and went to another job. because he got paid more. [cheers and applause] pres. biden: isn't that awful? isn't that a shame they have to compete for labor? better paying jobs. better jobs for them and their families. it has been a long time since that has happened in this country but it is happening now and it is working. since i took office, families are carrying less debt nationwide. they have more savings nationwide. more americans applied for new small businesses last year than ever before in american history. 5.4 million new small business applications. jobs and companies are coming home again. we are making by american -- buy
american a reality. by the way, republicans like to portray me as some kind of big spender. yes, i have spent a lot of money. let's compare the facts. under my predecessor the deficit expanded -- exploded, rising every single year and all the benefit going to the top 1%. under my plan, last year we cut the deficit by $350 billion doing all of this. they talk about biden wants to spend more on schools. he's going to create a deficit. ladies and gentlemen, by the end of the fiscal year, we will have cut the federal deficit by another $1.6 trillion, in one
year. one year. so they come to you and talk about big spenders, let them know. almost $2 trillion in deficit reduction. i do not want to hear anymore of these lies. about reckless spending. we are changing people's lives. and because of that fact this year we are delivering the largest in the history of america -- deficit reduction in the history of america. [cheers and applause] pres. biden: under my plan for the economy, we made extraordinary progress and put america in a position to tackle worldwide problem that is worse
everywhere else. inflation. i grew up not far from here. when the price of a gasoline -- a gallon of gasoline went up, it was conversation at the dinner table. it mattered to my working family. it mattered when the price of food went up. republicans in congress are doing everything they can to stop my plans to bring down costs for the ordinary families. that is why my plane is not finished and why the results are not finished either. jobs are back. prices are still too high. covid is down. gas prices are up. our work is not done but here is the deal. america still has a choice to make. a government by the few, for the few or a government for all of us. democracy for all of us, economy
for all of us and a chance to earn our place in the economy. my plan is simple. first i'm doing everything in my power to blunt putin's gas price hike. since he has invaded ukraine it has gone up $1.74 per gallon. because of nothing else but that. so i have a plan to bring down the cost of gas and food. it's going to take time. but we have had the largest release of oil from the global fund in history. one million barrels a day. 240 million barrels of boost in global supply by convincing other nations to join us, to keep prices from rising even more.
i'm working closely with our european partners to get 20 million tons of grain locked in ukraine out onto the market to help bring down prices. folks, look. what putin's war has done is not only try to wipe out the culture of ukraine, and commit innumerable war crimes, he has also prevented the grain, thousands of tons of grain locked up in those silos ready to be exported and they cannot get through the black sea because they would get blown out of the water. we are working on a plan to get it out to other countries by rail, but guess what? ukraine has a system like russia has, a real gauge that is different from the rest of europe. -- rail gauge that is different from the rest of europe. we are going to build temporary silos in the borders of ukraine
including than poland. so we can transfer from those cars into those silos into europe and get it across the world. [applause] but it is taking time. second, if we work to bring down gas and food prices, we can save money on other items. we can change the dynamic of middle-class families. give them a little breathing room. imagine -- what most middle-class and working-class families do is they look at the monthly bill on everything. the rent for the mortgage, the cost of maintaining the car, the food, everything. if portions of that go up, one of the ways to deal with inflation damages bring other costs down. for example 200,000 people with
type one diabetes are paying up to $1000 a month for insulin. we can make sure they pay no more than $35 a month. [cheers and applause] by the way, drug companies will still do very well. it cost them 10 bucks to develop insulin. bring down the average cost of prescription drugs is a gigantic way -- it really does. it affects the total amount of money you got to write out of that checkbook. gas is up and food is up, which we are going to get down come hell or high water, but there's other things we can do beyond getting the price of insulin down to $35 a month. imagine the difference it can make.
imagine the difference it can make if you had other things i'm proposing. imagine if you're in a situation where you're going to be able to be in a position where you pay for preschool for kids that are three and four years old. increasing exponentially their possibility of going up no matter what kind of family they come from in terms of educational standing, to raise the standard for people. imagine what we could do for child care. and in a city like philadelphia and new york, the big city of chicago, costs you $12,000 to $14,000 a month for child care. they shouldn't have to pay more than seven percent of their income. we can easily afford to do it. we can do the same thing -- [applause] but i really mean it. think how that would change the families you represent. think how it would change the
circumstances for working-class people. and by the way we could do the , same thing with utility bills . congress passes the clean investments i propose things like tax credit for business to produce cleaner energy. tax cuts for families that make their homes more energy efficient which is the way it would mean a lot more jobs by the way for some folks in the room. i've met with the ceo's of the largest 12 utility companies in america. they said if you pass that tax cut, that tax credit for modernizing the homes and winterizing the homes, etc., we will guarantee we will immediately lower than average cost of energy $500 a year for the average family. that would help a lot. and in the long run it would help make america energy independent so in the future american families no longer are subjected to the whims of dictators halfway around the world.
we've laid out concrete plans for families to save money. not only on prescription drugs and utility bills but on rent and mortgage costs, high speed internet. you guys out there are going to be putting in high speed and we've already got the money for it. billions of dollars. when you get it done it's going to lower the cost of high-speed internet for every family in america by 30 bucks a month. that's a lot of money. and it is a lot of jobs. look, we can do all this. all i'm asking is for the largest corporations and wealthiest americans to begin to pay their fair share in taxes. [cheers and applause] i'm deadly earnest. anybody out there think that tax
system is fair, raise your hand. [laughter] look, under my plan i made this commitment at the beginning and nothing's changed. no one making less than $400,000 year will pay a single solitary penny more in federal taxes. no one. we will no longer have a situation where 55 of the largest 500 companies made $40 billion each year the last two years and paid zero in federal income tax on that property. $40 billion. no, that's a fact. i know it sounds like i'm making it up. i give you my word, it is a fact. the fact is we got about roughly 790 or so billionaires in america. you know what their average tax rate is for billionaires?
i'm dead earnest. you can check it out. eight percent. the tax rate for all of you is significantly higher. 2 to 3 to 4 times higher. tax rates. i say it again, 8 percent in taxes. anybody in this room who thinks that i know you don't think it's fair but we've got to do something about and by the way is not just labor, organized labor, unions and democrats who think that the average republican knows it's not fair that some mom and dad out there. they know it's not fair. i happen to believe billionaires -- no billionaire should be paying a lower tax rate than a teacher, firefighter, electrician or a cop. [applause] republicans have it all backwards. their plan literally calls for increasing taxes on the middle class and working people and cutting taxes on wealthy
americans. and i'm not talking about punishing anyone. just a your fair share. it's a matter of decency, a matter of dignity. it is a matter of fiscal responsibility. look, i believe in bipartisanship but i have no illusions about this republican party. i've been able to bring some republicans along on parts of my plan the fact is republicans in congress are still in the grip of the ultra maga agenda and they refuse to consider changing any part of the trump tax cuts which delivered windfalls to billionaires and others, and they were not paid for. they still refuse to consider a minimum corporate tax of 15%. they seem to think that the problem in america today is the working families are not paying enough. congressional republican senator
rick scott of florida -- as my mother would say, god love him -- he laid out a plan. i think you have it on your desks. i took one page of that plan. this is published. it says -- this is one of their ideas -- all federal legislation sunsets in five years. it's if the law is worth keeping, congress could pass it again. guess what that is -- social security. not a joke. social security. medicare. medicaid. that's not a joke . every five years putting in the chopping block. every five years.
if it's not reinstated by a vote in the senate of 60 or more guess what? it automatically goes out of existence, that's what they are proposing. the congress unless they are ready to vote to bring it back into existence, think about that. social security you paid for your whole life. medicare. medicaid. not a joke. ask yourself how are they going to sleep at night knowing every five years, ted cruz and other ultra maga republicans will vote on whether you have medicaid. it's unlikely they'll wipe it out but does anyone doubt for a second though find ways of programs to keep anything going? that's what this is about. they always wanted to cut social security. they've always wanted to cut medicare. they always wanted to cut medicaid but if you have to start from scratch the gentleman from wisconsin ron johnson is back at it again trying to
dismantle the affordable care act. including his protection for pre-existing conditions. 100 million people have pre-existing conditions. the only reason insurance company had to cover it is to cover that law. and they're never going to stop going after it. so now with the plan of senator scott trying to walk back but it's clear the last thing they want to see is workers of power in this country. the bottom line is this . i truly believe we've made extraordinary progress by laying a foundation for our economy becomes clear once global inflation begins to recede. there's so much to say, but the truth is i've never been more optimistic about america that i am today. i really mean it. i travel the world trying to put things back together. trump did not leave a very good situation. [laughter] you think i'm kidding.
no matter where i go in the world whether it was that inter-american conference we just had in this hemisphere or nato hour dealing with the xeon -- the asean countries hour the far east -- guess what? they look at me and i say america is back and they look at me and say, for how long? this is america. we can do any damn thing we put our minds to. and guess what? we're not going back to the false promises of the trickle-down economics. we're going forward. [laughter] -- [applause] i really mean this. i know i'm called a cockeyed optimist but this is based on history.
we are the most unique country in the world. we're organized on one notion to every other country is based on the city, religion, geography but the united states is based on an idea. the only country in the world based on an idea. think about it. look to your right. look to your left. see if everybody shares the same backgrounds. we are so diverse. why are we doing it? because we say we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men and women are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. life, liberty. we've never met the goal we've never let the administration walk away from that goal and it gets better every time we push . and unions -- unions are going to play a critical role in the future. america's always counted on union workers. give us half a chance.
you have never, ever let the country down. we're counting on you again to build this country for all of us . help an economy that works for working people and i promise you i'm going to keep fighting for you. are you prepared to fight with me? let's try all together. let's continue to give working families a fighting chance . take our challenges head-on and keep building a better america because we can do it. god bless you all and may god protect our troops. [cheers and applause] we can do anything. thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2022] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [cheers and applause]
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