President Obama traveled to Philadelphia Thursday night to energize and encourage House Democrats staring down Republican majorities in both chambers of Congress.
Since Wednesday, more than 180 members of the Democratic caucus have been holed up at the Sheraton Hotel in Old City to hash out a game plan for the party between now and the next presidential election.
While discussions have been closed-door, it’s no secret that improving middle class lives will be a big part of that vision.
Standing before a packed ballroom, Obama’s message was brief, but clear: despite some gains, there’s still a lot of work to do in that department.
“The ground that middle class families lost over the last 30 years still has to be made up and that trends that have squeezed middle class families and those striving to get in the middle class, those trends have not been fully reversed,” he said.
He urged Democrats to “go on offense” with this agenda and vowed that he won’t let Republicans repeal the Affordable Care Act, or other accomplishments from the last six years.
“If that bill would ever reach my desk I would happily veto it. If they try to unravel new rules to make sure Wall Street recklessness doesn’t hurt American families again, I’ll be happy to veto it again. If rather than trying to solve the problem of a broken immigration system they compound the problem, I’ll veto it,” said Obama to applause.
Protesters who gathered outside the Sheraton before Obama’s remarks also hope he’ll follow through on his promise to veto any measures tied to approving the Keystone XL pipeline, which would send tar sands oil from Canada down to the Gulf Coast.
A bill to that end passed the Senate Thursday.
Vice President Joe Biden will address the same group Friday.