President BidenJoe BidenTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe House passes sweeping defense policy bill MORE on Wednesday traveled to a swing district in Illinois to pitch the massive jobs and families plan that Democrats expect to pass through reconciliation.
Biden visited McHenry County College in Crystal Lake., Ill., where Democratic Rep. Lauren UnderwoodLauren UnderwoodKatie Hill launches effort to protect Democratic majority in House Overnight Hillicon Valley — Hacking goes global Report pushes for changes to diversify 'homogeneous' US cybersecurity workforce MORE (Ill.) faces a tough reelection bid in 2022. Biden’s visit to the Midwest was to build support for the jobs and families plan, which Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHouse passes standalone bill to provide B for Israel's Iron Dome Pelosi vows to avert government shutdown McConnell calls Trump a 'fading brand' in Woodward-Costa book MORE (R-Ky.) vowed Tuesday that Republicans would fight.
He focused on investments in the child care workforce and expanded child tax credits, as well as free meals in schools for children and affording housing, in remarks that at the end he called “a boring speech” but “an important speech.”
“As a single father, when I first got to the senate, I had two young boys who had just lost their mom and their sister in an automobile accident. If I hadn’t had the family I had, my younger sister, my best friend, and my brother and my mom to help out, I couldn’t have done it. But not everyone has that kind of support,” Biden said.
He also focused on investments in jobs in research and development.
“Three decades ago — and this always disturbs me, even just repeating it — three decades ago, the United States was No. 1 in the world for a share of their GDP being invested in research and development. We are now No. 8 in the world,” Biden said, adding that China was then ninth and now is No. 2.
The president touted his plan’s investments in climate, as well as clean energy, clean cars and manufacturing jobs for union workers.
“No challenge is as urgent as climate change,” he said, pointing to the extreme heat, record drought, wildfires and tornados around the U.S.
“We will create a new generation in jobs in clean energy manufacturing. I also want to enlist a new generation of climate, conservation, and resilience workers,” he added.
Biden poked fun at Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonLiberal group launches campaign urging Republicans to support Biden's agenda Domestic extremists return to the Capitol GOP senator: Buying Treasury bonds 'foolish' amid standoff over debt ceiling, taxes MORE’s (R-Wis.) reported remarks downplaying the dangers of climate change, saying he heard “from the senator north of here that there … is no global warming.”
Progressives have expressed concerns that climate change could be left behind by pursuing a two-track system to pass the bipartisan infrastructure deal and the jobs and families plan without Republican support.
Biden had suggested he won’t sign the bipartisan infrastructure deal without a Democratic bill that focuses on jobs and families, but the president ultimately walked back those comments.