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Biden makes case for infrastructure bill in Wisconsin

President Joe Biden spoke in La Crosse, Wis. Tuesday to promote the bipartisan infrastructure bill as his predecessor criticized Republicans for agreeing to the deal.

Biden spoke on the benefits of the bipartisan package on the 65th anniversary of President Dwight Eisenhower signing the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, which created the interstate highway system. 

“America has always been propelled into the future by landmark national investments,” Biden said. “Investments that only the government has the capacity to make, only the government working together can make.”

In his speech at La Crosse’s Municipal Transit Utility, Biden promoted the potential for the various initiatives in the bill, including broadband internet and clean water.

“This is a generational investment to modernize our infrastructure, creating millions of good paying jobs…that position America to compete with the rest of the world in the 21st century because China is way outworking us in terms of infrastructure,” Biden said.

Throughout the speech Biden stressed the jobs created by the bill, even branding the bill as a part of his “blue-collar blueprint to rebuild America.”

Biden’s emphasis on job creation and the location of the speech, in the swing state of Wisconsin, appear to have the 2024 election in mind. Biden won Wisconsin by only about 20,000 votes over former President Donald Trump in last year’s presidential election.

The city of La Crosse has consistently voted for Democratic Presidential candidates since 1988, including Biden in 2020. However, Wisconsin’s 3rd congressional district, where La Crosse is located, voted for Trump over Biden in last year’s election.

While promoting the benefits of the bipartisan agreement, Biden also made clear he still wants to see more of his infrastructure proposals enacted.

“Let me be clear: there is much more to do and I’m gonna continue to fight for more,” Biden said. “I’m gonna keep working with Congress to pass even more of my economic agenda so we can keep building an economy from bottom up and the middle out.”

Biden talked about the “human infrastructure” he wants passed through reconciliation, like housing and healthcare initiatives. He also stated he wants to pay for it through tax hikes for corporations, mentioning the G-7’s proposed 15% global minimum corporate tax.

“I have never had a reputation of being someone who’s out there trying to just out-tax people, but here’s the deal folks: I think it’s about time there be fairness in taxes,” Biden said.

Republicans preemptively warned of Biden’s claims for his infrastructure plans ahead his speech. Spokeswoman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee Lizzie Litzow bashed Biden’s plan in a statement Tuesday morning.

“You’ll hear a lot of spin from Joe Biden today, but here’s the facts: Biden’s tax plan would raise taxes on family farms and decimate rural communities,” Litzow. said. “Wisconsin families deserve better than Biden’s systemic socialism and the Democrat politicians like those running for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin, who will blindly rubber stamp a radical, liberal agenda.”

Biden’s predecessor, former President Trump, also had sharp words for the Republicans who are supporting the bipartisan bill in an appearance on “The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show” Tuesday. 

“It’s sort-of pathetic to watch,” Trump said. “The Republicans are being used, the Republican senators, now some of the senators wouldn’t do that,…they’re being used by the Democrats. They want to make it sound bipartisan.”

In spite of criticism from both Republicans and Democrats over the deal, Biden ended the speech highlighting its bipartisanship support.

“This country came together forged a bipartisan deal…that delivers for everybody,” said Biden. “We have shown the world and just as importantly we’ve shown ourselves that American democracy can come through there is nothing, nothing, nothing beyond our capacity when we come together as one nation.”

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