UNITED STATES NEWS

Biden tackles Trump and touts economic progress in Milwaukee visit

Dec 20, 2023, 3:10 AM | Updated: 6:46 pm

FILE - President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting of the National Infrastructure Advisory Council ...

FILE - President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting of the National Infrastructure Advisory Council in the Indian Treaty Room on the White House campus, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — President Joe Biden touted his administration’s support for minority-owned businesses and the replacement of lead pipes during a visit here on Wednesday while also swiping at Donald Trump’s rhetoric toward migrants and his ongoing lies about his election loss.

The trip showed how Biden is trying to juggle multiple political priorities in the critical battleground state of Wisconsin. Democrats want to generate excitement among nonwhite voters who are an important part of their coalition while also keeping the focus on Trump’s extremism, heightening a contrast that the White House hopes will secure a second term for Biden.

The Democratic president’s first stop upon arriving in Milwaukee was Hero Plumbing, which has replaced hundreds of lead pipes around the city. The work is part of a $15 billion nationwide initiative funded through bipartisan infrastructure legislation.

“Not only has our business grown, but we’re helping to save our community,” said the company’s owner, Rashawn Spivey.

Spivey rode with Biden to the Wisconsin Black Chamber of Commerce, where the president highlighted the pipe replacement program. He’s described it as a generation-changing opportunity to create good-paying union jobs while reducing brain-damaging exposure to lead in schools, childcare centers and more than 9 million U.S. homes that draw water from lead pipes.

“This is the United States of America, for God’s sake,” Biden said. “Everyone should be able to turn on a faucet and know whatever they drink is clean and pure and not have to worry about it.”

Biden also focused on his administration’s surge in federal assistance for minority-owned businesses and distressed communities, saying, “We’re leaving no one behind.”

The Small Business Administration in the last fiscal year backed 4,700 loans valued at $1.5 billion to Black-owned businesses. Under Biden, the SBA said it has more than doubled the number and total dollar amount of loans to Black-owned small businesses. The share of the SBA’s loans going to minority-owned businesses has increased from 23% to over 32% since 2020.

Under Trump, Biden said “minority-owned businesses found themselves last in line,” and he accused political opponents of a “full-on attack on Black economic opportunity”

Biden also criticized Trump for his recent comments that migrants were “poisoning the blood” of the country.

“I don’t believe, as the former president said again yesterday, that immigrants are polluting our blood,” Biden said. “The economy and our nation are stronger when we tap into the full range of talents in this nation.”

The trip to Wisconsin came one day after the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that Trump was ineligible for the ballot there. The decision, the first of its kind in U.S. history, will likely be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Biden said it was “self-evident” that Trump is an insurrectionist. However, he did not comment on the ruling itself.

“Whether the 14th Amendment applies or not, we’ll let the court make that decision,” Biden told reporters on the tarmac after stepping off Air Force One in Milwaukee. “But he certainly supported an insurrection. There’s no question about it. None. Zero. And he seems to be doubling down on it.”

Trump has refused to back down from his lies that voter fraud cost him the 2020 election, and he’s pledged to pardon Jan. 6 rioters.

Biden’s campaign was circumspect when asked about the Colorado ruling in a call with reporters.

“What I will say is that the president looks forward to defeating Donald Trump or whoever else emerges from the Republican primary on the ballot box in November 2024,” said Brooke Goren, the campaign’s deputy communications director.

Wisconsin was among the most competitive states in Biden’s 2020 election win over Trump Trump and will likely be key to his reelection hopes in 2024. Trump is the leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination, and the party is hosting its national convention in Milwaukee next year.

In Wisconsin and beyond, Biden is trying to pep up American voters at a time when polls show people are largely dour about his handling of the economy. The president is struggling with poor approval ratings on the economy even as the unemployment rate hovers near historic lows and as inflation has plummeted in little over a year from 9.1% to 3.2%.

Biden announced that the Grow Milwaukee Coalition is one of 22 finalists for the Commerce Department’s “Recompete” pilot program. The program is funded by Biden’s CHIPS and Science Act, and is focused on investing $190 million in federal funding in job creation and small business growth in hard-hit U.S. communities.

The Grow Milwaukee Coalition proposal is centered on revitalizing Milwaukee’s 30th Street Industrial Corridor.

____

Megerian reported from Washington.

United States News

FILE - Former President Donald Trump attends the closing arguments in the Trump Organization civil ...

Associated Press

$454 million judgment against Trump is finalized, starting clock on appeal in civil fraud case

NEW YORK (AP) — The staggering civil fraud judgment against Donald Trump was finalized in New York on Friday, making official a verdict that leaves the former president on the hook for more than $454 million in fines and interest. The procedural step by the New York county clerk starts the clock on Trump’s appeals […]

9 minutes ago

Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)...

Associated Press

Biden tells governors he’s eyeing executive action on immigration, seems ‘frustrated’ with lawyers

President Joe Biden told the nation's governors on Friday that he's exploring what executive actions he can take to curb migration across the southern border.

16 minutes ago

Associated Press

California State University student workers vote to unionize, creating largest such union in country

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Undergraduate student workers at California State University voted to join a union to negotiate better pay, sick time, paid parking and other benefits with the university, officials announced Friday. The California Public Employment Relations Board said 7,252 student workers submitted electronic ballots between Jan. 25 and Feb. 22, with 7,050 voting […]

35 minutes ago

Associated Press

Bill headed to South Dakota governor would allow museum’s taxidermy animals to find new homes

South Dakota’s Legislature has made it easier for the city of Sioux Falls to find new homes for more than 150 taxidermy animals of its arsenic-contaminated menagerie. The mounted lion, tiger, polar bear and gorilla were part of display that filled a natural history museum at the state’s largest zoo. But when testing in August […]

1 hour ago

Migrants unload their items off a bus as they arrive at a bus stop after leaving a processing facil...

Associated Press

Border Patrol releases hundreds of migrants at a bus stop after San Diego runs out of aid money

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Hundreds of migrants were dropped off Friday at a San Diego bus stop instead of at a reception center that had been serving as a staging area because it ran out of local funding sooner than expected, showing how even the largest city on the country’s southern border is struggling to […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Seaplane crashes near PortMiami, all 7 passengers escape without injury, officials say

MIAMI (AP) — A seaplane overturned Friday afternoon while trying to land near PortMiami, but no serious injuries were reported, officials said. The aircraft came down in a channel between the port’s cruise ship terminals and a causeway that connects Miami to Miami Beach, according to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue. The single-engine Cessna 208 was trying […]

1 hour ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Biden tackles Trump and touts economic progress in Milwaukee visit