U.S. President Joe Biden stops at La Crosse Municipal Transit Utility in La Crosse, Wisconsin, the United States, on Jan.
Kevin Lemarque | Reuters
President Joe Biden traveled to La Crosse, Wisconsin on Tuesday to promote its recently announced bipartisan infrastructure framework of $ 1.2 trillion.
While there, Biden toured the city’s Municipal Transit Utility and made comments focusing on how the massive infrastructure package would benefit Wisconsin residents.
“It’s going to change the world for families here in Wisconsin,” said Biden.
“More than a thousand bridges here in Wisconsin are classified by engineers as structurally deficient,” he said. “A thousand, only in Wisconsin.”
The framework includes $ 579 billion in new spending on roads, bridges, railways, public transportation, electric vehicle systems, electricity, broadband and water.
Biden also promoted rural high-speed broadband expansion, which the deal would fund if Congress passed it.
The deal will “ensure” [high speed broadband] is available in every American household, including the 35% of rural families who currently don’t have it, “said Biden. In Wisconsin, 82,000 children would not have reliable internet access at home.
Biden also drew on familiar lines of how the deal will help the United States win the already ongoing technology and innovation race with China and prove that democracies can do better for people than autocratic systems of government.
Biden’s remarks in Wisconsin preview how he plans to sell the infrastructure contract across the country in the coming weeks, emphasizing how the deal will benefit residents of each state in particular.
His next stop this weekend is Michigan, where Biden will perform with Democratic state governor Gretchen Whitmer.
However, Biden’s seminal La Crosse speech belied the dangerous path ahead for the bipartisan agreement in Congress, where it is still just a framework of a plan on paper and yet to be written into law.
The deal was negotiated last month by a group of ten Senators, five Republicans and five Democrats, and announced last week.
Biden’s suggestion during that announcement that he could veto the framework unless lawmakers pass other democratic priorities as well, briefly threatened the deal.
Over the weekend, the president reassured some Republicans by making it clear that if passed of his own accord, he would sign the bill.
“I was very happy to see the president clarify his remarks because it didn’t match everything we were told along the way,” Senator Rob Portman, R-Ohio, an architect of the plan, told ABC News on Sunday .