President Joe Biden touted the bipartisan infrastructure package – and highlighted the promise of accompanying jobs should it pass – during remarks in Wisconsin on Tuesday afternoon.
Biden announced the nearly $1 trillion deal on June 24 following months of negotiating. The package has $579 billion in new spending and focuses on infrastructure like roads, bridges and sewer pipes, among other items.
The president visited La Crosse, Wisconsin, on Tuesday to tour its Municipal Transit Utility and then gave a speech focused on infrastructure. Biden propped up the bipartisan aspect of the deal as he spoke in one of the states he won in 2020.
“After months of careful negotiation, of listening, compromising, together and in good faith moving together, with ups and downs and some blips, a bipartisan group of senators got together and they forged an agreement to move forward on the key priorities of my American Jobs Plan,” Biden said.
“As a result, this is a generational investment, a generational investment to modernize our infrastructure, creating millions of good-paying jobs … millions of good paying jobs, and positions America to compete with the rest of the world in the 21st century, because China is way outworking us in terms of infrastructure,” he continued.
Biden highlighted struggling infrastructure in Wisconsin, such as hundreds of bridges that he said are in desperate need of repair, CBS News noted. He also brought up climate change and ridiculed those who disagree with it being a threat.
“It’s 116 degrees in Portland, Oregon,” Biden exclaimed. “One hundred and sixteen degrees! But don’t worry, there’s no global warming. It doesn’t exist — it’s a figment of our imagination. Seriously.” (RELATED: Joe Manchin Comes Out In Support Of Democrat-Only Infrastructure Bill)
The president mentioned lead in drinking water during Tuesday’s speech and declared that the bipartisan infrastructure package “contains the largest investment in clean drinking water and wastewater infrastructure in American history.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters prior to Biden landing in Wisconsin that the president chose to visit the state because its people “would hugely benefit from the components of the bipartisan infrastructure package.”
The bipartisan bill almost unraveled after Biden told reporters – just hours after announcing a deal with the group of 10 senators that developed the package – that he has no plans to sign a bipartisan infrastructure package unless it’s accompanied by a reconciliation bill.
These comments were walked back on Saturday when the president issued a new statement claiming the “veto threat” was “not my intent.”
Still, Psaki declined to definitively say whether Biden would sign the infrastructure package without the reconciliation bill during Monday’s press conference, instead simply noting that “the president looks forward to and expects to sign each piece of legislation into law.”
“The president’s focused on selling this package to the American people, both package I should say. That’s what he’ll be doing … in Wisconsin, and we’ll be working closely with leaders in Congress to move both of these pieces of legislation forward,” Psaki said Monday.