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Biden eyes letting Trump tax cuts expire, rakes in $42m in fundraising

US President Joe Biden walks up to members of the news media to give a statement before boarding Marine One for travel to California from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, US, February 20, 2024.
US President Joe Biden walks up to members of the news media to give a statement before boarding Marine One for travel to California from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, US, February 20, 2024.
Image: REUTERS/Leah Millis

US President Joe Biden laid out part of his vision for a second term on Tuesday, from strengthening US healthcare to letting Donald Trump's tax cuts expire, during a fundraising trip to California as he steps up his re-election campaign.

Biden's three-day swing through the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas kicked off after his campaign and Democratic Party allies said they raised more than $42 million in January and have $130 million cash-on-hand for a likely general election contest against former President Trump, a Republican.

Biden has been holding regular fundraisers to fill his coffers ahead of what is expected to be a bruising fight to stay in the White House, but he has not spoken regularly about what he intends to do with a second term if re-elected.

“I’d like to talk about the future and what it means to finish the job,” he said at the start of a Beverly Hills event to a crowd that included actress Jane Fonda.

“Trump's $2-trillion tax cut, which is about to expire, overwhelmingly helped the very, very wealthiest of us and not the vast majority of the American people. 'Finish the job' means getting rid of Trump's tax cut, closing loopholes.”

He also listed reducing the deficit, strengthening the healthcare law known as the Affordable Care Act, and making housing more affordable, in what could be a preview of topics in his State of the Union address set for next month.

Though the fundraisers in California are focused on high-dollar donors, his campaign said on Tuesday its January intake was fuelled largely by small-dollar donors giving money online.

“January’s fundraising haul — driven by a powerhouse grassroots fundraising program that continues to grow month by month — is an indisputable show of strength to start the election year,” campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said in a statement.

The totals include money contributed to the Biden campaign, the Democratic National Committee and their related joint-fundraising committees.

Trump's campaign said it raised $8.8 million in January and spent more than $11 million, including more than $5 million on ads and mailings as he easily won his party's first presidential nomination contests.

Its cash holdings fell to just over $30 million at the close of last month. The Trump figures do not include related joint-fundraising committees.

Biden's latest cash haul comes as he has shaken up his re-election bid, sending top White House aides Mike Donilon and Jen O’Malley Dillon to his Wilmington, Delaware-based campaign to help oversee strategy and planning amid Democrats' concerns at a rocky start and shaky polling for the incumbent president.

Biden and Trump remain neck-and-neck in the contest for the White House, a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll showed, with the former president backed by 37% of respondents and Biden supported by 34%.

The poll was conducted after Special Counsel Robert Hur released a report declining to charge Biden for taking classified documents when he left the vice presidency in 2017 but criticising his memory and mental acuity.

Reuters 


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