President Joe Biden used his quick trip to Minnesota Tuesday to highlight the impact he believes the historic infrastructure bill will have on people both across the U.S. and in the North Star State.
The president spoke at Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount, and acknowledged both the fatal school shooting in Michigan that happened earlier Tuesday as well as concerns about the omicron coronavirus variant before discussing the $1.2 trillion bill.
Biden's goal, he told the crowd, was to show "how these investments are going to ... change lives for the better." He touched on road and bridge repair, health care costs, child care costs, the impact of the climate crisis, job programs, lead pipes, high-speed internet access, the corporate tax rate and more — often while sprinkling in specific references to Minnesota.
Biden, who called Minnesota an "incredible state," highlighted:
- How schools like DCTC "are going to train the next gen of workers" to do needed jobs in infrastructure and energy
- The Twin Ports interchange in Duluth and Link project in Rochester
- The soon-to-open Orange Line, rapid bus transit project
- The hiring power of U.S. Bank, Best Buy and Target in the region
- The importance of the Port of Duluth and MSP Airport for fostering business and enabling quick, efficient shipping
- The Minnesota households that don't have broadband access
- This summer's wildfires in Superior National Forest that caused hazardous smoke to blanket the state
- September tornadoes in the Twin Cities metro
- The estimated 260,00 lead pipelines in Minnesota
Biden argued the infrastructure bill — which had support from a smattering of Republicans — was also an investment in the middle class, which he called the "backbone" of AMerica.
"Folks on Wall Street aren't bad but they didn't build America," Biden said, later adding the middle class has been "left behind for much too long."
The president spoke for about 30 minutes,