Joe Biden heading to Crystal Lake, Illinois to promote American Families Plan


President Biden will visit a community college in Trump territory in Illinois on Wednesday to show that he’s still pushing for Congress to approve a multi-trillion-dollar package of social spending to accompany his tentative infrastructure plan.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Mr. Biden will travel to McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, Illinois, to promote his American Families Plan. Former President Donald Trump won the county in 2020.

The reliably red county is the only one in the ring of “collar” counties outside Chicago that also voted for Mr. Trump in 2016. The county is represented in the U.S. Congress by Democratic Reps. Lauren Underwood and Sean Casten, and state Democrats are considering a redistricting plan that would move McHenry out of Ms. Underwood’s district.

Ms. Psaki said the president “ran as someone who would represent not just Democrats, not just Republicans, not just independents, but all people.”

“So I’d see this as less of a political trip, more of his having an opportunity to speak to all Americans about why his ‘Build Back Better’ agenda … is something that many people of all political stripes should be able to support,” she said.

The president’s spending package proposes more spending to address child poverty, expanded health-care programs, and to make college more affordable, among a broad range of other initiatives.

Mr. Biden reached a bipartisan deal with senators late last month on a roughly $1 trillion plan to rebuild roads, bridges and other physical infrastructure. 

But Republicans balked when Mr. Biden immediately threatened to veto the plan if Congress doesn’t send him a bigger companion spending bill on issues such as child care, paid leave and other social initiatives favored primarily by Democrats.

The president quickly backed down from a veto threat but said he still wants both packages to reach his desk.

“As the president presses for the bipartisan infrastructure framework, he‘s also pressing ahead with a dual-track for the full breadth and scope of the ‘Build Back Better’ agenda, which includes his critical climate priorities and the American families plan,” Ms. Psaki said. “The president will continue advancing his entire economic agenda.”

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is expected to meet with Mr. Biden when he lands at O’Hare International Airport.

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