Evan Vucci | Associated Press
DeKALB – President Joe Biden made his first trip to Illinois as president on Wednesday to promote his “Build Back Better” agenda that focuses on child care and education.
Biden stopped at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, which has workforce development programs and a child care center, and visited its children’s learning center and manufacturing lab. The visit to Crystal Lake marked a first for any sitting president.
Biden came to the college to pitch the case for creating free community college, extending the child tax credit and achieving universal prekindergarten education as part of his $1.8 trillion American Families Plan.
“We need to lay the foundation for the next generation of American jobs and American leadership in manufacturing and technology,” Biden said in a 30-minute speech.
Biden wants the federal government to provide four additional years of public education to every student by increasing Pell Grants and investing in job training.
Biden also spoke on a bipartisan $973 billion deal on infrastructure saying “we can’t wait any longer to deal with the climate crisis” and that the bipartisan infrastructure deal makes “major strides.”
“Extreme weather isn’t just in the West,” Biden said. “In Illinois, farmers downstate are dealing with more frequent droughts. Two weeks ago, just south of here, you just had a newly unprecedented tornado.”
The deal focuses on traditional infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and waterways, but left out Biden’s plans for “human” infrastructure, like child care, health care and education. Democrats are moving forward with a bill that will be passed using budget reconciliation.
“There’s a lot of work ahead of us to finish the job, but we’re going to get it done,” Biden said. “We’re going to reimagine what our economy and our future could be.”