Maffei discusses upcoming presidential visit

Aug 15, 2013

President Obama will be in Buffalo, Syracuse and Binghamton next week to discuss his plan for reducing college costs, but Rep. Dan Maffei hopes the president makes a stop in Auburn, too.

Maffei wrote the president a letter in April inviting him to visit the town's Harriet Tubman Home. Tubman, who freed hundreds of slaves through the underground Railroad, is buried in Auburn. Maffei is sponsoring legislation in the House of Representatives to make the home a national historical park.

"I'd love him to come down at some point and we've talked about that," Maffei said. "I've talked directly with the vice president, and I know they support our efforts and are interested in helping, but that's not what this particular trip will be about."

Maffei says Obama's upstate visit is part of his plan to refocus on the economy in preparation for fiscal talks with Congress.

"The program that he is outlining in a series of speeches is called "Better Bargain for the Middle Class," Maffei said. "My argument to the White House is where is there a better place where the middle-class truly needs a better bargain than central New York."

The president made some progress on that agenda last week when he signed a bipartisan bill to restore lower interest rates on student loans.