President Joe Biden will travel to Philadelphia Tuesday afternoon to deliver a speech on voting rights, which are under pressure across the country due to lies and misinformation about the 2020 election.
Here’s everything you need to know to either watch Biden’s speech or avoid traffic caused by his motorcade:
Time of Biden’s speech
Biden is scheduled to arrive at Philadelphia International Airport at 2:05 p.m., and will travel by motorcade on I-95 to the National Constitution Center. His speech is scheduled to begin at 2:50 p.m., but it won’t last too long — Biden is scheduled to depart Philadelphia at 4:10 p.m. and be back at the White House around 5:15 p.m.
“He’ll lay out the moral case for why denying the right to vote is a form of suppression and a form of silencing,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Monday. “He will redouble his commitment to using every tool at his disposal to continue to fight to protect the fundamental right of Americans to vote against the onslaught of voter suppression laws.”
How to watch Biden’s speech
Biden will deliver his speech at the National Constitution Center in Center City. Neither the White House nor the city has released specific information on whether Philadelphia residents will be able to see the speech in person, though some invited guests will attend.
Biden’s speech is expected to be carried by most cable news networks. You can also watch it here, courtesy of PBS:
Due to Biden’s speech, rolling road closures will be in effect for:
North and south I-95 from Philadelphia International Airport to I-676 (6th Street exit) during Biden’s arrival and departure
Certain sections of Callowhill Street during Biden’s arrival and departure
Race Street between 5th and 8th Streets
Arch Street between 5th and 8th Streets
5th and 6th Streets between Race and Arch Streets
Additional road closures around the National Constitution Center could be added during the day by the Secret Service.
Kenney will attend Biden’s speech
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney plans to attend Biden’s address, and according to a spokesperson he “appreciates the Biden Administration’s actions on this important issue – protecting Americans’ constitutional right to vote.”
Why is Biden pushing for voting rights?
Biden’s speech comes as Republican-led efforts in numerous states — including Georgia, Texas, and Florida — have put in place laws making it harder to vote following former President Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election results.
State Sen. Doug Mastriano (R., Franklin), a likely gubernatorial candidate and one of the loudest election deniers in Pennsylvania, has threatened to subpoena Philadelphia and two other counties if they don’t agree to turn over election-related equipment as part of a partisan, Arizona-style audit of the 2020 election.
As the Inquirer has reported, there is no evidence to support the conspiracy theory that widespread voter fraud impacted the 2020 election. Even Trump’s own Department of Homeland Security declared the 2020 election the most secure in American history. But that hasn’t stopped Republicans like Mastriano from undermining public support in election systems in a futile attempt to overturn Biden’s victory.
The election in Pennsylvania wasn’t particularly close — Biden defeated Trump by 80,555 votes, a margin greater than Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016 (44,292 votes). Nationally, Biden won the Electoral College, 306-232, and received more than 7 million more votes overall than Trump.