Vice President Joe Biden came to the University of Pennsylvania to promote President Barack Obama’s American Jobs Act.
The vice president chided the Senate for not passing the jobs plan, forcing the administration to break it up into parts in an effort to make it more palatable to Congress. Biden said the proposal for hiring more police, firefighters and teachers will go up for consideration first and is urgently needed.
“I call on the members of Congress to step up this week, step up and make a choice for the people in your district,” Biden said. “Should they have more teachers in school, police on the beat, firefighters in the firehouse? Or should you save a millionaire from a $500 tax.”
Biden held a round-table discussion with public safety officials from the region, including Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey.
Ramsey said additional funding for teachers is a good way to fight crime.
“Because in 42 years of policing, I’ve come to learn one important lesson–a good education and a job are the best remedy for fighting crime,” Ramsey said.
Earlier in the day, Biden visited an elementary school in York to make the same pitch. There he said the jobs plan would help school districts bring back teachers that were laid off as well as hire new teachers.
“That would make up for the 14,000 jobs the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators estimates that were cut this year in Pennsylvania alone,” Biden said.
Biden stressed that the funding for the jobs program would come from a surtax on those earning $1 million or more.