WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — Vice President Joe Biden has visited Washington’s first Costco store, where he bought a 32-inch TV, a stack of children’s books, an apple pie and other items in a pre-Christmas shopping spree.

Biden came to the store’s grand opening Thursday and was mobbed by shoppers and employees. He said he was at the store to demonstrate the need to extend tax cuts for the middle class.

He said consumer confidence is growing, as demonstrated by the huge crowd at the gleaming new store, and said “the last thing we need to do is dash that now” by imposing a tax increase of about $2,200 for a typical middle-class family.

Biden and President Barack Obama have pressed Congress to extend middle-class tax cuts while raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

D.C. Mayor Vince Gray is also taking advantage of the new store by upgrading his membership card and purchasing toys for the holiday season.

“Now we’ve got the convenience of shopping in the District of Columbia,” said Gray. “These tax dollars will remain in the city . . . and the jobs.”

The 154,000-square-foot store is on Market Street NE near the intersection of New York Avenue and South Dakota Avenue. Membership to the bulk discount store costs $55 a year.

Costco has more than 600 stores worldwide including approximately 450 stores in the United States and Puerto Rico.

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(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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