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Joe Biden pitches $1.2T infrastructure deal as 'generational investment'

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Joe Biden pitches $1.2T infrastructure deal as 'generational investment'
President Joe Biden walks to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on Tuesday as he departs for a trip to La Crosse, Wis., to deliver remarks highlighting the benefits of a bipartisan infrastructure plan. Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

June 29 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden traveled to Wisconsin on Tuesday to promote a bipartisan infrastructure proposal that would spend $1.2 trillion on various upgrades and repairs across the United States, including work on roads and bridges.

He described the package to an audience in La Crosse as a "generational investment."

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"America has always been propelled into the future by landmark national investments," Biden said.

The investment includes $48.5 billion for public transportation, $109 billion for road and bridge projects, as well as funding to replace lead water pipes in the state and expand access to broadband Internet.

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"This is a generational investment to modernize our infrastructure, creating millions of good-paying jobs, and position America to compete with the rest of the world in the 21st century," Biden said.

Prior to his speech, Biden toured a municipal transit utility.

The bipartisan proposal was reached last week among a group of centrist Democratic and Republican senators. It nearly fell apart last weekend when Biden said he would tie it to a separate, much larger infrastructure bill pushed by Democrats.

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Biden was forced to walk back those statements to keep the fragile bipartisan agreement alive.

Wisconsin has strategic significance for Biden and Democrats, as it's typically a battleground state in election years.

The state is a key target for Democrats in 2022 with GOP Sen. Ron Johnson's seat up for re-election. Johnson has not said whether he will run for a third term.

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Wisconsin was one of several states that put Biden over the top last fall and helped him defeat former President Donald Trump, who carried the state in 2016.

Wisconsin residents were likely paying attention to Biden's plans to address the needs of rural communities. Small dairy farms in the state have decreased by 43% since 2011 -- and close to 400 farms were shuttered last year, lowering the state's total number to less than 6,800, a historic low.

The bipartisan agreement is effectively a compromise to Biden's original infrastructure proposal, the American Jobs Plan, which was estimated to cost far more and had no Republican support.

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