BALTIMORE (Fwrd Axis) — President Joe Biden took the stage on Thursday night at Baltimore Center Stage and answered questions from CNN’s Anderson Cooper and the American people at CNN’s Town Hall, which ended up making several headline stories.
The President touched on several important topics from his domestic agenda to supply chain issues and voting rights.
Here are the five biggest takeaways from Biden’s Town Hall on Thursday:
Altering the filibuster
By far the biggest newsmaker of the night was Joe Biden answering directly about getting rid of the filibuster. At first, the President said he couldn’t push for axing the filibuster because it would cost him three votes he needs to pass his domestic agenda.
“If in fact, I get myself into at this moment the debate on the filibuster, I lose at least three votes right to get what I have to get done on the economic side of the equation,” he said in response to an audience question.
However, when pressed by Cooper, Biden he would support abolishing the 60-vote standard — if and when his those bills pass — to protect voting rights. There also seems to be other things that Biden would entertain eliminating the filibuster for other issues too. The President added: “And many more.”
For several days, reporters have been trying to get key details about the closed-door meetings between the President and key Democrats. Thursday night saw Biden confirm the reporting in the span of 27 minutes.
The President was asked about dental and hearing coverage not being covered in the bill. Biden answered the question by saying Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va) is opposed to that portion of his plan.
“It’s a reach. Mr. Manchin is opposed to that,” Biden said.
He also confirmed that free community college is being stripped from the legislation along with the child tax credit being reduced from 12 weeks to just four.
Joe Biden is not a stupid man. He’s been in this situation countless times and joked with the audience about it, saying he was in the Senate for “370 years” — making the point that he was “relatively good at putting together deals.”
Part of deal-making is playing nice and it is noted that the President did not once bad mouth Manchin or Sen. Kyrsten Sinema. Instead, he complimented both while also putting both of them under a spotlight surrounding key issues of his agenda.
He called Sinema “smart as the devil” and said that Manchin was “not a bad guy. He’s a friend.”
Supply chain woes
The President was asked about the supply chain shortages and the concern about supplying not being able to meet the demands of the American people. When asked by Cooper, Biden said he was considering using the National Guard to move things along at a faster pace.
“The answer is, ‘yes,’ if we can’t move, increase the number of truckers, which we are in a process of doing,” Biden answered.
Biden was also asked about the high gas prices and said Americans should start to feel some sort of relief early next year.
“My guess is you’ll start to see gas prices come down as we get into next year, 2022,” he said. “I don’t see anything that’s going to happen in the meantime that’s going to significantly reduce gas prices.”
Tax the rich?
One of Joe Biden’s biggest talking points is not hitting the middle class with a tax hike, instead, he is wanting to tax the wealthiest Americans and corporations. However, there is a problem: Sinema opposes that.
“She will not raise a single penny in taxes on the corporate side and on wealthy people, period,” he said.
The President continued explaining exactly why he wants to raise taxes on the big corporations and wealthy Americans.
Now, here’s the deal, though. You have 55 corporations, for example, in the United States of America making over $40 billion, don’t pay a cent. Not a single little red cent,” he said. “Now, I don’t care. I’m a capitalist. I hope you can be a millionaire or billionaire. But at least pay your fair share. Chip in a little bit.” The corporate tax rate was 35 points, 37 percent. Barack and I thought it should come down. We thought it should come down to 28 percent. In the process, it came down to 21 percent under Trump. Which even the corporate leaders, and you know if you’re in real estate, major real estate, ask them. They know they should be paying a little more than 21 percent because of the idea that if you’re a school teacher and a firefighter you’re paying at a higher tax rate than they are as a percentage of your taxes.”