WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden presented his new Build Back Better agenda, his proposals to invest in education and on helping families, on Wednesday in Crystal Lake, Illinois.
Biden and Sen. Tammy Duckworth visited the McHenry County College workforce development program’s metal lab and its childcare center.
“We’re going to reimagine what our economy and our future could be,” Biden said during his speech at the college.
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 prekindergarten childcare more affordable 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.
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Biden also plans to invest in affordable housing by addressing supply and building or rehabilitating more than 2 million homes.
Biden’s new executive order also calls on the Federal Trade Commission to ban some occupational licensing requirements and limit occupational licensing.
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.
Watch the president’s speech
Here is a list of other issues Biden and Psaki commented on:
“We need a lot more information, but it’s just — it’s very worrisome about the state of Haiti,” Biden said before his departure on Marine One Thursday morning.
Biden’s official statement: We are shocked and saddened to hear of the horrific assassination of President Jovenel Moïse and the attack on First Lady Martine Moïse of Haiti. We condemn this heinous act, and I am sending my sincere wishes for First Lady Moïse’s recovery. The United States offers condolences to the people of Haiti, and we stand ready to assist as we continue to work for a safe and secure Haiti.
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.
RANSOMWARE ATTACKS: 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.
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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.
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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.
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“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.
Torres contributed to this report from Miami.