In Swing State, Biden Says He's Helping Workers

President attacks GOP in announcing completion of plan keeping pension funds solvent
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2022 7:30 PM CDT
'I Always Have Your Back,' Biden Tells Union Workers
President Biden addresses union members and their supporters Wednesday in Cleveland.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – President Biden reassured a gathering of union workers in Ohio on Wednesday, telling them he'll protect them and their pensions. "Who is the backbone of this country? It's you, the American worker," Biden said at Max S. Hayes High School in Cleveland, the Hill reports. "I always have your back—I promise," he added. That's not true of Republicans, the president told the swing state crowd. If they win back Congress and the White House, he warned, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid could be at risk.

The official reason for the trip was to announce the final step for enacting a program created by Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief law, a fix to support struggling multiemployer pension plans, ensuring they're solvent through at least 2051. The $90 billion for the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp. will guarantee pension benefits for millions of workers, 100,000 of them in Ohio, per Cleveland.com. Some companies that were losing money during the pandemic stopped contributing to retirement plans, and those lost benefits will be restored to workers retroactively. Biden said the deal is one of the biggest victories for union workers in 50 years.

Biden called out Republicans for not supporting the plan, making a reference to former President Donald Trump. "My predecessor had a chance to act, but he didn't have the courage to stand up to his own party," Biden said. He cited the fix as a campaign promise he kept. One of the president's next decisions could be less popular with union workers, the Hill points out. To combat inflation, the president is considering removing tariffs on Chinese goods. The White House has declined to say when that decision would be announced. (Read more President Biden stories.)

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