Biden Visits a Red Part of Illinois
Coverage as President Biden delivers remarks on his administration’s Build Back Better plan and how it could benefit working families. YouTube Tips ⓘ
Edith Sanchez, raised in Harvard, Illinois, introduced President Joe Biden She is a student trustee at McHenry County College and President of Latinos Unidos (Facebook.com/MCCLatinosUnidos).
President Joe Biden quickly said America’s Back and then immediately credited men and women he worked with — Gov. JB Pritzker, Sen. Tammy Duckworth, Sen. Dick Durbin, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood.
His first topic was infrastructure improvement plans, joking he suggested, “think about how much easier life will be when its quicker to drive on Randall Road.”
He also mentioned the plans for improvement of the water supply (removing lelad) and Internet availability, and improving the electric grid. He also suggested the need to invest in people with an American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan. He highlighted education improvement and child care for families.
Biden met with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot at the tarmac near the American Airlines near the north control tower before he boarded his helicopter and V-22 Osprey fleet to head for McHenry.
The Fox News ‘The Five’ show roundtable criticized Biden for visiting McHenry while lacking attention to Chicago’s violence. Geraldo Rivera mentioned that ironically to ATF agents and a Chicago cop were shot the morning Biden arrived in Chicagoland. Dana Perino, former White House Press Secretary under President George W. Bush, highlighted the news that 400 people were shot and 150 were killed over the 4th of July holiday weekend. Jesse Waters incorrectly called the McHenry County city of Crystal Lake “Crystal City” as he called for stiffer gun charges in Chicago.
Geraldo Rivera said there is a ghetto war involving drugs and gangs that must be faced, or the ghetto war will linger for another 10 years. Over the recent 4th of July weekend 104 people were shot and 19 were killed.
‘The Five’ slams Biden for visiting a Chicago suburb and not the City of Chicago amid violence YouTube Tips ⓘ
According to White House Press Secretary Jen Pasaki, Biden’s Illinois visit today symbolizes Biden’s desire to win Republican support. McHenry county was the only collar county to carry Donald Trump in the 2020 election.
President Joe Biden on Wednesday visited McHenry County to win Republican support for the “Build Back Better” agenda. YouTube Tips ⓘ
Jen Psaki responds to a question about Biden’s trip to Crystal Lake, Illinois during a White House Press Briefing. YouTube Tips ⓘ
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PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN SPEECH TRANSCRIPT AT MCHENRY COUNTY COLLEGE
Thank you, Edith. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Please, please be seated. Mr. President, but he hadn’t told you today that he had to delay his vacation to be here today. He heard Biden’s coming, he goes, “Oh my God, when’s he coming?” So he could show me around McHenry County College. I’m glad to be here with great Illinois leaders. I want you all to… America’s back, America’s back. And in no small part because of the men and women that I serve with. Governor Pritzker, stand up, man. He’s a good man.
If you really want someone in the foxhole with you when you’re in trouble, you want Senator Tammy Duckworth. Tammy. And the guy I rely on more than anyone else in the United States Senate and I’ve served with him for years. We have a lot in common in terms of losses, as well as gains is a Dick Durbin. Dick. And Congresswoman Underwood who got me a passport [inaudible] Her mom and dad are mildly proud [inaudible] mom looks like her sister.
Last week, I was up in Wisconsin to talk about a bipartisan agreement to modernize American infrastructure and in the process, create millions of good paying jobs. That’s not my estimate, that’s Wall Street estimates, that’s everybody’s estimate. Millions of good paying jobs. Not $7, not $8, not $10, not even $15 an hour, good prevailing wage jobs. And here’s what it means for Illinois. You’ve got like many states, all states, you’ve got 2,374 bridges and over 6,200 miles of highway that are in disrepair. As a result, every driver in this state pays a hidden tax about $600 per year in wasted time and wasted fuel because of the nature of the roads and bridges. And by the way, you’re better than a lot of states, not to mention the challenge of getting to work or getting to a daycare center on time to avoid that late fee when you pick up your child.
Your governor has an ambitious infrastructure plan and under a bipartisan infrastructure agreement, we’re going to make the biggest investment in roads and bridges since the construction of the interstate highway system, literally creating millions of good paying jobs. And God willing, we’re not going to have 40 weeks of, this is infrastructure week. Remember those. I think what it will mean to McHenry’s entrepreneurial agricultural program is you can get products more easy to Chicago or think about how much easier life will be when it’s quicker to drive on Randall Road. Look, this agreement also allows us to replace every lead pipe and service line in America, benefiting 10 million homes. It’s going to address lead exposure in 400,000 of our schools and daycare facilities where children drink that water.
This would be the largest investment in clean drinking water in American history, on passing. And one in every 10 people Illinois lacks access to high-speed internet. The bipartisan agreement that Dick and others have made sure we’re getting, the agreement allows us to connect every American to reliable high-speed affordable internet, every single American, rural and urban. And by the way, those of you who are parents who had kids at home, tell me what internet means this last year, if they’re school aged. Well, from 2010 to 2020 Illinois experienced 49 extreme weather events. Although I heard today from the Senator north of here, the Republican Senator, there is no global warming. Just so you know. There’s no such thing. But those weather events cost this state roughly $50 billion in damages. And we’re going to upgrade the electric grid to make it more resilient to extreme weather and other threats.
But there’s a lot more the agreement’s going to do to encourage the physical and ensures the physical infrastructure lays the foundation for a strong and durable, sustainable competitive economy. But what I want to talk to you about today is a human infrastructure. It’s essential to that foundation as well. Truly we’re in the 21st century. And once again, lead the world to truly build an economy from the bottom up and the middle out. To truly deal everybody in this time, we need to invest in our people, we need to invest in our people. That’s why in addition to the bipartisan infrastructure agreement that I believe we’re going to get done, I’m here to make a case for the second critical part of my domestic agenda. It’s a combination of parts of my American Jobs plan that were essential and not included in the bipartisan infrastructure plan, as well as my American-
Including the bi-partisan infrastructure plan, as well as my American family’s plan. In Washington, they call it a reconciliation bill. That’s a fancy way of saying with a filibuster that our friends in the other side use constantly more than ever been used in history. It means you got to get 60 votes to get anything done. We’re a 50/50 Senate with a vice president who happens to be a Democrat. And back in the campaign I said we’re going to build back and we’re going to build back better. We can’t just build back, we’ve got to build back better. And today I want to outline some of the key pieces of this build back better agenda and what it’s going to do for the people of Illinois and the people in United States. It’s about a country once again that inspires and leads the world, the opportunities we provide, the curious rediscovery, the technology we discover, the technologies we pioneer and industries we create. And the nation that leads to the world in combating the existential threat of climate change.
The build back better plan agenda starts with education. One of the reasons why we are a leading country in the world for so long and still on the edges is because we’re the first industrial nation in the world to allow 12 years of free education back at the turn of the 20th century, but everybody’s caught up. At the time they were debating what should be education in America? The argument was there should be 12 years of free education. And that’s what got us ahead. That’s what had us leap ahead of the rest of the world. But today everybody’s caught up. Does anybody think in the 21st century with changes taking place in technology and across the board that 12 years of education is enough to be able to live a middle-class life? I don’t think so.
And so the fact of the matter is I’ve decided we should have a minimum of 14 years of education. 14 years of education which I’ll explain in a second. As the first lady I’m Jill Biden’s husband, but as Jill would say, she’s a full-time community college professor while being the first lady. She often says any nation that out-educates us is going to out-compete us. Any nation that out-educates us is going to out-compete us. That’s why I want to guarantee the additional four years of public education for every person in America. Starting with providing two years of universal high quality preschool for three and four year olds. Building on what the governor has been doing here in Illinois.
For the last ten years studies out of the great universities, study of a high quality program here in Chicago found that low income children participating in preschool were 47% more likely to earn an associate’s degree or higher and get through school without any difficulty. We have to build on that foundation for future success. And then I want to add two years of free community college for everyone. And we can afford it, I’ll tell you how.
That can boost earnings of high school graduates with low wage jobs by nearly $6,000 a year on average. The average annual cost of a two-year degree in Illinois is $4,200. Under my proposal that cost would be zero, but it’s not just tuition that’s expensive. As was pointed out, living expenses, housing, meals, transportation. And that’s why I proposed to increase the maximum Pell grant, which if you’re below a certain income you qualify for a Pell grant from right about 6,500 a year to $8,000 a year.
And that will fill it out. I know that here at McHenry you have a dual enrollment program. So students from places like Woodstock High School and other high schools, you get credit for taking college classes here. Well, my plan will provide resources to expand programs like the one you have here. My plan will also do more to invest in high quality job training and apprenticeships and fast-growing sectors like public health, childcare, manufacturing, information technology, clean energy. So that all Americans can get the skills that employers want that lead to good middle-class. And I make no apology, union jobs.
We also make strategic investments in teachers and the teacher pipeline. Because even before the pandemic our school system was 100,000 teachers short here in America, particularly in high demand areas. Our children are the kite strings that lift our national ambitions aloft and our teachers are the ones that help them believe they can do anything. I bet every one of you’s success can name the teacher that helped change your life. I bet everyone, everyone of us. Somebody came along and made us believe in ourselves. That’s the really secret of teachers.
My plan will reduce student debt for future teachers, double the size of annual federal scholarships for future teachers. Will also support a hundred billion dollar in school infrastructure improvements, including community college to make sure that they’re safe and healthy places for learning and that all students with labs and technology they need to be able to compete in the 21st century. Of course an ability to take these jobs often depends on the availability of childcare. As a single father and when I first got to the Senate, I had two young boys who had just lost their mom and their sister in an automobile accident. If I hadn’t had the family I have my sister, my younger sister, my best friend and my brother and my mom help out. I couldn’t have done it. But not everybody has that kind of support.
I just toured your children’s learning center. It’s an amazing resource. Students and faculty can have their children cared for. Students can earn their associate degrees in early childhood education as well. High quality childcare options should be the rule, not the exception. So on my way here I met with Mike Sayre who wrote me a letter about his struggle to find affordable childcare. And he wanted to know what my plans were. Well Mike, I hope you know now, here we are. My plans provide access to quality affordable childcare with more childcare centers and community college campuses with new and upgraded childcare facilities all across the country.
Businesses we’ve got a full tax credit to build on-site facilities. And the reason they want to do that is not just to be nice, business because studies show when there is an onsite childcare center businesses have less employee turnover, less absenteeism and higher productivity. It’s overwhelmingly in their interest to do it. Middle-class families will pay no more than 7% of their income for high quality childcare for children up to age five. The most hard-pressed working families won’t have to pay a dime. My plan will also invest in childcare workforce with better wages, benefits and training opportunities.
Look, we’re also going to give parents the option to take up to an $8,000 tax credit to cover childcare expenses if that’s the preferred route. That’s good for families and is good for the economy and it will create more jobs. My plan will also provide up to 12 weeks of paid family leave for medical care. Up to 12 weeks of paid family leave. Look, we’re one of the few major economies in the world that doesn’t cover paid family medical leave. And the most difficult moments some will ever face no one should have to choose between the job and a paycheck and taking care of someone you love. A parent, a spouse, a child. Look, we’ll tackle the maternal mortality crisis as well that impacts on black and native American mothers disproportionally. And I want to thank Congressman Underwood for her leadership in this area.
Because I’ve said again and again, people who really need a tax break in this country are America’s working families. It’s time they get a tax break. So my build back better agenda would extend expanded childcare tax credit we passed under my American rescue plan. Those of you who have children under the of seven, you’re going to get three and depending on your income and your income taxes, you’re going to get a cash payment back up to now. And guess what? You get $2,000 is declared a dependent. If you have two children you get $4,000 off a $10,000 tax bill, it’s important. But if you don’t make enough money to be able to owe that kind of tax you don’t get a tax credit, you don’t get anything. While under this proposal guess what? You’re in a situation where if you have a child under the age of seven, you get back $3600 in cash.
In addition to that those of you are in that situation are going to start to see that coming in by the end of this month on a monthly basis. It can change the lives of people. Starting next week families will begin to receive one of the largest ever single year tax cuts aimed at families and children. And every child under the age of six is $3,600. Every child between six and 17 is 3000. And not as a credit against your taxes, but as a direct payment. You’ll get cash. Cash that’s what we’ll get. For example middle-class family with two children … cash, that’s what you’ll get. For example, a middle-class family with two children can expect to receive $7,200. You get the first half, the $3,600 paid out at $600 a month between July and December. And you get the rest between January and tax day.
With this one tax cut, every study shows that childcare is cutting poverty by 40%. Families with children who qualify for this cuts poverty by 40%. So let’s extend the tax cut at least through 2025. Let’s expand free meals for millions more children in school with the assistance during the summer months when they don’t have access to those school meals.
We support families with children. We also need to provide greater dignity for our nation’s senior citizens who care for them. Look, there are hundreds of thousands of older adults and people with disabilities who need home and community-based care services. They qualify for it under Medicaid, but there’s a backlog of thousands of people.
But one study showed that $3,000 spent helping a senior stay in their home saves the country more than $20, 000 a year in medical costs. At the same time, more the 1.5 million Americans work in home care, they’re disproportionately women, women of color and immigrants, and those jobs are among the lowest paid in the economy. One in six home care workers lives in poverty. We need to do better on both sides of the equation.
My plan expands home care for the older and disabled Americans while improving jobs and pay for home care workers who care for them. And here’s the deal, you save a lot of money if you don’t have to go to a home. Keeping people in their own home, mentally and every other way, is a benefit. A significant benefit for the community as well as cost.
We also need to continue to make healthcare more affordable. When we lowered premiums and expanded coverage in my American Rescue Plan, more than 1.5 million people signed up for what used to be called Obamacare. I want to make these premium reductions permanent so we can get even more people covered.
We need to deal with a shortage of affordable housing in America. Over 10 million renters in this country pay more than half their income for the rent on their apartment. The lack affordable housing prevents people from moving to communities where there are more opportunities. So we’re going to make a historic investment in affordable housing, increasing and improving the housing supply by building and rehabilitating more than 2 million homes, especially in places that need more housing.
And we need to invest not just in the physical and human infrastructure of today, we need to invest in jobs and in the industries of tomorrow. Three decades ago, and this always disturbs me even just repeating it, three decades ago the United States was number one in the world for a share of their GDP being invested in research and development. We were number one in the world. We’re now number eight in the world. China was number nine in the world, now they’re number two in the world.
Folks, Democrat and Republicans agree, we can’t afford to lose this race. They came together in the Senate and in the Innovation and Competition Act that Dick was very much a part of, to help us grow the industries that win the jobs of the future. We need to lay the foundation for the next generation of American jobs and American leadership in manufacturing and technology.
We’re going to invest in historic black colleges and universities under minority serving institutions. Because, while these schools may not have the endowments or the labs needed to generate these jobs, these students are just as capable of learning about all the things that are going to provide the jobs of the future.
And of course no challenges is as urgent as climate change. Last week, I met with eight governors for a better part of an hour, all from the Western states, Republicans and Democrats. They’re facing extreme heat, record drought and a fire season the threatens to be much longer, more dangerous and more destructive than ever.
Last year, for example, more than 10 million acres burned in the west. 10 million acres, not counting the lives lost and homes lost. More land that exists in my home state of Delaware and my neighboring state of Maryland combined, so if a fire swept through and took out every single thing in the state of Delaware and Maryland.
The drought conditions this year are twice as bad. You’ve seen the pictures. Reservoirs that are 40 feet down, 50 feet down. The extreme weather isn’t just in the west. In Illinois, farmers downstate are dealing with more frequent droughts and two weeks ago, just south of here, you just had a nearly unprecedented tornado.
We can’t wait any longer to deal with climate crisis. We see with our own eyes that it’s time to act. The bipartisan agreement we reached make some major strides. It’s going to allow the transition of thousands of all, for example, diesel school buses and city buses. We’re going to change them to electric buses.
There are roughly half a million of these iconic yellow school buses on the road today, 95% of them run on diesel, for example. Diesel pollutes the air, is linked to asthma and other health problems, and hurts our communities and causes our students to miss school. I’ll put Americans to work capping tens of thousands of abandoned oil and gas wells that are leaking methane. It’s devastating. And the wages to cap these wells are the same wages that it took to dig the wells, making people be able to earn a prevailing wage to do it. There’s thousands of them.
But we need to go further. I want to provide tax cuts for businesses and consumers who invest in clean energy technologies like renewables, battery storage, next generation aviation fuels, electric vehicles. I want to set the clean electric standard that moves us to a fully clean and reliable grid.
These steps are going to create good paying union jobs and spur demand for domestic manufacturing, accelerating clean energy and clean cars, growing our capacity to build those technologies on factory floors with union workers here in the United States. And we create a new generation of jobs and clean energy manufacturing.
I also want to enlist a new generation of climate conservation and resilience workers like FDR did with the American work plan for preserving our landscape with the Civilian Conservation Corps, it’s a similar thing. We can put Americans to work strengthening public lands and waters and making our communities, rural and urban, more resilient against extreme weather.
We can take on the long overdue work in advancing environmental justice by addressing pollution. My plan is also going to give grants to spur innovative policies and local projects like installing community solar and storage in disadvantaged communities. Replacing the streetlights that are made in America with LED bulbs that cost a whole lot less and last a whole lot longer. Making upgrades in homes and school and community centers to boost energy efficiency and cut electric bills.
Folks, I’ve laid a lot of plans here, but that’s because it’s time and we have to think bigger, we have that bolder and we have to build back better. When we passed the American Rescue Plan the naysayers and the doubters said it wouldn’t work. Well, we created over 3 million jobs since I took office. More jobs in the first months of a Presidential administration at any time in American history.
And last week, the Congressional Budget Office doubled their projections of the 2021 economic growth from 3. 2% to 7.4% and the OECD thinks it could be higher. That puts the America Rescue Plan, and our work is going to move forward to do a lot of things, including, we’re close to defeating the virus.
The last time the economy grew at this rate was in 1984 and Ronald Reagan was telling us it was an “American morning.” Well, this is going to be an American century.
With my American Families Plan and the other elements of the Build Back Better agenda experts in Wall Street, analysts have said that we will create millions of good paying jobs for years and decades to come, not just in the near term. So I’m going to be making the case to the American people until the job is done, until you bring this bipartisan deal home, until we meet the needs of families today and the economy of tomorrow.
And we can pay for it. Let me give you a rough example… By the way, the plan for infrastructure is paid for, it’s paid for. And this plan that I’m talking about, which is really expensive if you add it all up… Well, guess what? The fact is that it’s paid for as well.
Let me tell you how we’re going to pay for it. Some of the ways to pay for the rest of it is, for the last couple of years for example, 55 of the Fortune 500 companies-
55 of the Fortune 500 companies making billions of dollars did not pay a single penny in taxes. Not one single cent. Well, I don’t want to punish anybody, but everybody, and I hope someday my grandchildren grow up to be billionaires, that’d be wonderful, especially for a guy for 36 years was listed as the poorest man in the United States Congress, but having said that, all kidding aside, everybody has to pay their fair share. I’m not trying to gouge anybody. Everybody has to get in the game. If we put in place a minimum 15% tax on the profits of corporations, the ones that didn’t pay any tax that would raise a quarter of a trillion dollars, $214 billion.
There’s a loophole in the system called stepped-up basis. That loophole goes, if I made a capital gains and I was a wealthy person and I was going to cash in my stock and I was going to have to pay a tax, I was going to make $400,000 and I was going to pay X amount in taxes, if on the way to cash it in, I get hit by a truck, God forbid and died, and it was left to my daughter, there’d be no tax paid. It’s not an inheritance tax. It was a tax due 10 seconds earlier. We close that loophole, that saves us $400 billion a year. Not a year, $400 billion over this period, which is enough to pay for the Child Care Tax Credit. If we end tax breaks for fossil fuels and make polluters pay to clean up the messes they’ve made, that would raise $90 billion. I’m not ask them to do anything that that is unfair, just not going to subsidize them anymore. They’re doing well, thank you.
And the messes they made, they should clean up. Well, if we asked the top 1%, and I hope many of you are in the top 1%, maybe, that tax cut that was passed in 2017, all raised the deficit by over $2 trillion, not a penny paid for, and it didn’t come back with anything, that in fact, that entire $2 trillion, the vast majority went to the top 1/10th of 1% of the American people. 1%, if we just, the folks in the top 1%, if they just paid their personal income and state tax the same as it was under President George Bush, George W. Bush, that would generate $13 billion a year. It would raise the tax from what it is now, 35%, to 39%. I mean, it’s not like there’s this idea when you listen to the guy who used to have this job that somehow we’re gouging people. The fact of the matter is a lot of you, if you’re a plumber and a teacher, you’re probably paying at 25%, 26%. Some of you’d be paying higher.
But here, look, that one change is enough to provide for two years free community college for every student in America. People say that one of the purposes of taxes is to also generate growth along with making sure that we can pay for our basic needs. Let me ask you, what is more likely to grow the economy and enhance us, continuing the tax cut at 37% or having to pay 39.5%, generating economic growth, because now you have a tax system that will allow millions of students to go to community college? When I was with Barack as Vice President, he asked me to do a study and I spent, your sister, Penny Pritzker, was part of my effort taking care of it, and the effort was simple. We came along and we said, “Okay.” We reviewed 300, and I think 47, I don’t remember the exact number, of the CEOs of the Fortune 500 companies, and said, “What do you need most?” You know what they said almost to a person? “I need a better educated workforce.”
They’re not prepared to pay for it. Imagine if we present the world and the nation with a better educated workforce. It helps everybody. The point is, we pay for our entire plan and make the tax system fair for all Americans. It’s about time. There’s a lot of work ahead of us to finish the job but we’re going to get it done. We’re going to reimagine what our economy and our future could be and show the world, just as importantly, we’ll show ourselves that democracy can deliver for the people of Illinois and the people of America and the world can lead again. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, I know that’s a boring speech, but it’s an important speech. God bless you all, and may God protect our troops. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Appreciate it. And excuse my back. I apologize. I apologize. Thank you.