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Jim Kessler, vice president for policy at Third Way, a moderate Democrat-leaning group that praised the task force, said it offers the chance for the Obama administration to get beyond the focus on the very rich and the very poor that dominated recent administrations.

“What Biden was talking about was families, middle-class families, folks in that doughnut hole that don’t really get much right now from the federal government - people from $40,000 to $120,000 a year. How do you help them get their kids through college, how do you help them raise a family and have a career?” Mr. Kessler said.