Biden’s new ‘Build Back Better’ agenda includes 4-year college ed

President Joe Biden presented his new Build Back Better agenda on Wednesday during his visit to the Henry County College at Crystal Lake, Illinois.

Biden visited learned about the college’s workforce development program and visited the college’s childcare center.

President Joe Biden speaks to a child as he tours a children’s learning center at McHenry County College, Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in Crystal Lake, Ill. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, R-Ill., left, and President of McHenry County College Clint Gabbard look on. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) (Evan Vucci/)

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 wants to make high-quality childcare for children up to age five more affordable by building new centers and by proving an up to $8,000 tax credit. He wants to institute 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave and extend the Child Tax Credit from the Rescue Plan.

Biden also plans to invest in affordable housing by addressing supply and building or rehabilitating more than 2 million homes.

President of McHenry County College Clint Gabbard, listens as President Joe Biden speaks as he tours a manufacturing lab at McHenry County College during an event highlighting infrastructure spending, Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in Crystal Lake, Ill. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) (Evan Vucci/)

Biden’s executive order calls on the Federal Trade Commission to ban some occupational licensing requirements and limit occupational licensing.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters aboard Air Force One that Biden’s new Build Back Better agenda was a combination of the American Families Plan and the American Jobs Plan.

Psaki said the Department of Education released nearly $6 billion in American Rescue Plan funds to six states and Washington, D.C., to support the safe reopening of K-through-12 schools.

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on infrastructure spending at McHenry County College, Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in Crystal Lake, Ill. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) (Evan Vucci/)

PANDEMIC: Psaki said the death rate of COVID was reduced by 90%, as almost 70% of the adult population is vaccinated, and 50% of the new cases are attributed to the Delta variant.

The Biden administration’s work with local public health officials and volunteers had a positive impact in states like Florida and Mississippi, where there have been lower vaccination rates, Psaki said.

“There’s been actually an increase by over 4% in Florida, over the last month,” Psaki said.

The U.S. is sharing more doses with Latin America, including 1 million Johnson & Johnson doses to Bolivia and 1 million doses of Pfizer to Paraguay.

CYBERSECURITY: On the new cyberattacks, Psaki said the FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency are in touch with the Republican National Committee to determine attribution on the third-party vendor’s breach.

“We’re investigating. We’ll conclude the investigation and make an assessment,” Psaki said.

Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris met Wednesday morning with the national security team to address ransomware attacks, according to Psaki.

“Surge capacity — the importance of partnering but also encouraging the private sector to harden their own protections — that’s all part of it,” Psaki said.

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on infrastructure spending at McHenry County College, Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in Crystal Lake, Ill. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) (Evan Vucci/)

OPEC TALKS: While the U.S. is not a party of The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries diplomats are in touch with the key participants in the discussions, Psaki said.

AFGHANISTAN: Psaki said Biden supports continuing negotiations while providing humanitarian and security assistance since he doesn’t believe there is a military solution for the 20-year war.

“We intend to continue to have a diplomatic presence on the ground in Kabul, even after we bring the servicemen and women home at the end of August,” Psaki said.

Here is a part of the transcript of the question-and-answer segment:

Q    Can we get the White House reaction to the violence in Chicago — those three officers shot overnight, one of whom was an ATF agent?  There’s an alderman in Chicago who is asking that the President come in the wake of what happened.  He says, quote, “Our communities and police officers are under siege.”  What’s the President’s message as we’re about to land there and he’s about to meet with the mayor of that city?

MS. PSAKI:  Sure.  Well, let me first say that we are closely monitoring the situation in coordination with the Department of Justice and ATF.  We stand ready to provide any assistance needed.  Our thoughts go out to the two ATF agents and the Chicago Police Department officer who were wounded, as well as their families and fellow agents and officers.

As the President has said many times, every time a law enforcement officer pins on their shield and walks out the door, they’re carrying a sacred responsibility.

I will note that, in terms of the efforts the President has underway to address the rise in violence we’ve seen over the last 18 months, including in Chicago, there are a number of steps that impact Chicago directly and specifically, including — his Rescue Plan is giving cities like Chicago — alone is getting almost $1.9 billion through the Rescue Plan.  Cook County is getting over $1 billion.  And the state government of Illinois is receiving an additional $8.13 billion.

As a part of our gun crime reduction strategy, Chicago is also taking part in a community violence intervention collaborative with 15 jurisdictions nationwide to help them invest in proven evidence-based, community-based strategies.

And Chicago is also one of the five cities we announced recently that’s going to be — we’re going to be working with — the Department of Justice is going to be working with in launching a gun trafficking strike force — there’s four other cities, I should say, nationwide — to help interrupt gun trafficking corridors that send crime into Chicago from across the city and state lines.

Q    Will he visit?

MS. PSAKI:  Will he visit — our plans today have not changed in terms of our travel plans.

Q    Has the President spoken to Governor Pritzker or Mayor Lightfoot this week, following the extremely violent weekends?  Has he —

MS. PSAKI:  He’s going to see both of them today.

Q    Jen, on the bipartisan infrastructure plan —

MS. PSAKI:  Yeah.

Q    — we still haven’t seen congressional scoring or legislative language, especially on the payfors.  Is that a signal that, you know, they’re still in that, kind of, “coffee, late-night” area that you discussed before?  Or might we a- — the alternate solution is that there’s been a problem with the scoring and it doesn’t quite add up?  Is there a possibility that the payfors change in any way at this point?

MS. PSAKI:  I think the order of events here, as I think you’re alluding to, is they need to write the legislation first, which they’re working on over the coming days.

Q    One on Haiti.  I believe that you sent out a tweet — and I don’t know what’s happened in the past hour and a half, but I believe the U.S. Embassy in Haiti has not tweeted any form of tweet about what happened, and a lot of the Western embassies have.  So I’m just checking to see if there’s any sort of, like, friction or —

MS. PSAKI:  Well, we put out a statement from the President.

Q    Do you think the U.S. Embassy in Haiti should be putting out —

MS. PSAKI:  I would ask the State Department that question.  I don’t — I don’t think there’s an issue.  We put out a statement from the President on it.

Q    We’re about to land.

MS. PSAKI:  Yeah.

Q    Has the U.S. been asked to help in Haiti?  I mean, I know that you guys are providing whatever —

MS. PSAKI:  We stand prepared to assist.  We’re certainly in touch, but obviously this is — this is still developing, and so we’ll assess what their needs are.  And we’re ready to provide needs — you know, respond to the needs they ask for.

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