President Obama will travel to the battleground state of Pennsylvania today, where he will urge lawmakers to extend and expand the payroll tax cut before it expires at the end of December.
The president will travel to Scranton, Pa., Vice President Joe Biden’s home town, where he will meet with a local family and make his pitch in remarks at Scranton High School. Lawmakers are poised to vote on the president’s proposal this week but remain divided over Obama’s plan to pay for it with a 3.25 percent surtax on millionaires. Although some Republicans have come out in support of extending the payroll tax holiday, they oppose any new taxes.
“The president believes that the best way to do this is the way that he put forward with the pay-for that he put forward. He also believes that the pay-for the Senate Democrats have put forward meets the principles that he laid out, and he looks forward to the Senate voting on the proposal that Senator Casey has put forward later this week,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Tuesday.
Today marks the president’s 8th trip to the key swing state this year so far. While the visit is an opportunity for Obama to make a pre-election pitch aimed at white working-class voters, the White House denies the visit is political.
“It’s part of his responsibility serving the American people, to get out and be among them and to speak with them about his agenda, or her agenda. This president will continue to do that,” Carney said. “It is also true that we are moving forward in what will be a presidential election year, and this president is running for re- election and fully intends to carry out his role as a candidate and to win re-election… That process is also under way, but it is separate process.”
This evening, the president will travel to New York City for three back-to-back fundraisers before returning to the White House.