President Joe Biden speaks about his infrastructure plan last Friday in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C. He's expected to detail certain parts of the plan during a trip to Illinois on Wednesday. Photo by Samuel Corum/UPI | License Photo
July 7 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden pitched a bipartisan infrastructure package during a trip to the Chicago area Wednesday, seeking to strengthen his vision to invest in childcare, healthcare, education and other aspects of American life.
The visit to McHenry County Community College in Crystal Lake, Ill., was part of the Biden administration's effort to bring attention to improving education. One of the key items in the legislation would make college tuition more affordable.
During remarks, he took a shot at former President Donald Trump's frequent "infrastructure weeks."
"Under a bipartisan infrastructure agreement, we're going to make the biggest investment in roads and bridges and the construction of the interstate highway system, literally creating millions of good paying jobs," Biden said. "And God willing, we're not going to have 40 weeks of 'this is infrastructure.'"
During the trip, Biden toured the college, which has a workforce development program and child care center. Gov. JB Pritzker, Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, and Rep. Lauren Underwood joined him.
He also met with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle about violence in Chicago.
"The fact that he wanted to come here to Crystal Lake says a lot about who I think Joe Biden is," resident Michael Zellmann told ABC News. "He's open and I believe the people are willing to listen."
Last month, Biden signed a $4 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal that includes investments in roads, bridges, transit systems, and broadband.
Other initiatives designed to boost the economy and middle class -- like two years of free community college, universal prekindergarten, paid family leave and medical leave -- will be detailed during his visit Wednesday.
Biden also plans to establish a clean energy standard, invest in in-home care for seniors, expand healthcare premium subsidies and expand child tax credit.
The president narrowly carried Illinois during the 2020 presidential election while Democratic Rep. Lauren Underwood won re-election by a slimmer margin. The seat is considered crucial for Democrats to hold in the 2022 midterms to control the House.
"When you look at McHenry County we have historically been Republican, and Crystal Lake is an amazing community and we are incredibly open to hearing what any politician has to say, especially our president," Zellmann added.