The Macomb Daily

Biden hints at 2024 run in speech to firefighte­rs’ union

- By Gregory Korte and Josh Wingrove

President Joe Biden sought to shore up support from an important labor union whose members enjoy broad appeal across the political spectrum ahead of an expected 2024 reelection bid.

“I promise you, you’ve had my back and I’ll have yours,” Biden said in a speech to the Internatio­nal Associatio­n of Fire Fighters’ legislativ­e conference in Washington on Monday.

Biden hinted at plans to run for a second term, touting his accomplish­ments during his first two years in office. “I’m determined to finish the job,” he added.

Firefighte­rs routinely top polls of Americans’ most trusted profession­s, and the union was a key part of Biden’s labor coalition in the 2020 presidenti­al election. The IAFF was the first major organized labor group to endorse Biden in that campaign, throwing its support behind him just four days after he announced his candidacy in April 2019.

The president delivered his address to the union a day after a trip to Selma, Alabama, where he listed his legislativ­e accomplish­ments on behalf of Black voters.

Strong support from organized labor and Black voters helped propel Biden to the White House and will be crucial to the president’s 2024 ambitions.

The union has not made a decision on an endorsemen­t for 2024, a union official said. But the IAFF has a long history with Biden, and has endorsed Democrats in every election since 1976 - with the exception of 2016, when it declined to endorse either Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump.

Biden has reciprocat­ed that support in his legislativ­e agenda, including by signing a measure related aimed at strengthen­ing federal firefighte­r benefits and another at protecting firefighte­rs from so-called “forever chemicals.”

The American Rescue Plan, Biden’s pandemic-relief measure, also included $400 million in direct support to local fire and emergency services agencies, with millions more flowing indirectly in assistance to local government­s.

“It’s about your dignity,” Biden said Monday. “That’s why I fight so damn hard to protect your right to collective bargaining. Make sure you have what you need to manage the risk of your job today.”

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