In Wisconsin, Biden touts his administration's economic successes, job creation

President to discuss how his policies have created jobs, new opportunities in the state

President Joe Biden is in Wisconsin on Wednesday to tout his economic agenda. Photo by Nathan Howard/UPI
1 of 4 | President Joe Biden is in Wisconsin on Wednesday to tout his economic agenda. Photo by Nathan Howard/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 8 (UPI) -- One day after his second State of the Union address, President Joe Biden went to Wisconsin to promote his economic plan that the White House said has created hundreds of thousands of new jobs and brought $4 billion in new investments to the battleground state he narrowly won in 2020.

Biden spoke from a union training facility in Deforest, near Madison, where he highlighted the policies and funding that have spurred jobs, business expansion and rapid manufacturing growth in the state, which the White House touted before the president's trip.


During Wednesday's speech in Wisconsin, Biden echoed the same themes from his Tuesday night speech, touting multiple federal initiatives that have benefited the state during his term. He emphasized that the state of the union is "strong," because of union and blue-collar workers like those in Wisconsin.


"This is a blue collar, blue change that we're seeing," he said. "We've created more jobs in two years than any president has created in a single four-year term."

The president said record-low unemployment and falling gas prices are just the beginning. He expects more progress "when the oil companies start playing their honest role."

"Folks, I hate to disappoint you but the Biden economic plan is working," he said.

One of the biggest gains seen in the state is a $128 million government investment in Wisconsin's Workforce Innovation Grant program that provides housing, transportation, childcare, career training, and health services to help prospective employees avoid snags that typically get in the way of job opportunities.

To date, the president's sweeping policy achievements -- including the American Rescue Plan, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, CHIPS and Science Act, and Inflation Reduction Act -- have invested billions in taxpayer dollars to boost manufacturing, lower prescription drug prices, and advance clean-energy technologies across the country.

Since Biden took office more than 24 months ago, the government has used $2.9 billion for infrastructure projects across Wisconsin, with most of the money going toward improving driver safety and repairing crumbling roads and bridges.

"Each of these projects means jobs," Biden said. "For laborers, plumbers, pipefitters, cement mixers. These are good jobs. Jobs you can raise a family on, and most don't require a college degree."


The administration also has put up $150 million to create better access to clean water, while similar funding has gone toward efforts to replace diesel-fueled buses and the redevelopment of former fossil fuel plants. Infrastructure money also has paved the way for more affordable high-speed Internet service throughout the state, the White House said.

The Environmental Protection Agency also has announced $1 billion to clean up and restore the Great Lakes region, which stretches across Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

Wisconsin's unemployment rate currently is at about 3.2%, which was 1.5% lower than two years ago when nearly 30% of small businesses in the state were shutting down permanently, the White House said. Since 2021, nearly 118,000 jobs have been created in the state, along with 130,000 new businesses.

The president also showcased Democratic provisions that have lowered the cost of health care premiums and prescription drugs in the state -- including a $2,000 yearly cap on out-of-pocket prescription drug costs, a $35 monthly cap per insulin prescription, and free vaccines.

Biden then tailored his message directly at families struggling to pay bills by talking about his plans to eliminate junk fees like surcharges and small-print terms. He said credit card fees will be cut by 70%, so a late payment that was once $30 will become an $8 charge.


"I heard a commentator while I was flying out here -- he said, 'Why isn't Biden talking about important issues,'" the president said. "Junk fees may not matter to the wealthy people but they matter to most folks like [in] the home I grew up in. I know how unfair it feels when a company overcharges you and thinks they can get away with it. Frankly, it offends me to think about it."

Biden called on Congress to pass a Junk Fee Prevention Act to take aim at junk fees.

The president acknowledged the "spirited debate" that took place during his State of the Union Address, specifically referring to barbs from Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. She shouted "liar" from the gallery as Biden spoke about Sen. Rick Scott's Social Security plan. Biden pulled out a brochure of Scott's plan and read from it to make his point about the risk of Scott's proposal.

Biden then addressed Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson and his comments on Social Security and Medicare, drawing boos from the union workers in attendance.

"They sure didn't like me calling them on it," Biden said. "A lot of Republicans, it's their dream to cut Social Security and Medicare."


After leaving Wisconsin, Biden plans to travel to Tampa, Fla., on Thursday to showcase his plan to strengthen Social Security and Medicare, while underscoring his continued commitment to lowering healthcare costs.

Last week, Biden hit the trail to promote his economic strategy in Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania, where the president announced $500 million in federal infrastructure funds to help fix Philadelphia's broken water system amid a nationwide effort to dismantle lead pipes.

Biden opened his speech with an acknowledgement of the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria. He said he has offered full U.S. support to the affected countries.

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