WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The Biden administration says they want to get an infrastructure deal that also invests in education and childcare for the future of the U.S. economy.
President Joe Biden visited Illinois on Wednesday to talk about what his administration has accomplished to help families so far. Biden said investing in early education will help those children get better jobs in the future and grow the economy.
“Does anybody think in the 21st century with the changes taking place in technology across the board that 12 years of education is enough?” Biden asked.
As part of his Human Infrastructure Plan, Biden proposes providing free preschool education for all American children as well as free community college.
“That could boost earnings of high school graduates with low-wage jobs by nearly $6,000 a year on average,” Biden said.
The president said expanding child tax credits, lowering health insurance premiums and making childcare more accessible and affordable will help middle class families.
“My plan will also provide with up to 12 weeks of paid family leave for medical care,” said Biden. “In the most difficult moments someone will ever face, no one should have to choose between a job and a paycheck and taking care of someone you love.”
In addition to long-term benefits, Biden said his infrastructure package will also provide an immediate boost.
“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,” he said.
“If you’re really serious about this, let’s look at traditional infrastructure — roads, bridges and rural broadband which is so important to the country right now — and not muck it up with things that have nothing to do with infrastructure,” said Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX).
Biden is still hoping to convince enough Republicans to support at least part of his proposed infrastructure deal. But he may have to split up the plan and rely on only Democratic support to get the human infrastructure and green energy portions passed in the Senate.