- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 2, 2022

President Biden on Wednesday traveled to Wisconsin, telling voters in the battleground state that his infrastructure bill will help create jobs and make America more competitive.

“America used to have the best infrastructure in the world. The best bridges, roads, airports,” Mr. Biden said during a trip to Superior. “Now our infrastructure ranks 13th in the world. We can’t compete for jobs in the 21st century if we don’t fix that.”

Mr. Biden made the trip following Tuesday’s State of the Union address, during which he discussed plans to repair 65,000 miles of highway and 1,500 bridges through the infrastructure law.

His remarks rehashed many of the same talking points that he highlighted in his State of the Union speech.

The visit was Mr. Biden’s third to Wisconsin since he became president, highlighting its role as a key battleground state in the 2022 midterm elections. Wisconsin could decide the balance of control in the U.S Senate.

A handful of Democrats are running against Sen. Ron Johnson, a Republican, in hopes of flipping the Senate seat. Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, is also up for reelection this fall.

A Marquette University Law School poll released just before Mr. Biden’s visit to Superior found he had a 43% approval rating in Wisconsin, while 52% of those surveyed said they disapproved of the job he’s doing.

In August 2021, the same poll found Mr. Biden with a 49% approval rating, with 46% of Wisconsin residents disapproving.

Despite the drop, Mr. Biden is polling better in Wisconsin than in national polls, which have his approval rating hovering around 37%.

Mr. Biden spoke about his efforts to repair the nation’s roads and bridges through his $1 trillion infrastructure law, which passed in November.

He also toured the Blatnik Bridge, which connects Duluth, Minnesota with Superior and is “nearing the end of its useable life,” according to a White House fact sheet.

The bridge, built in 1961, has more than 33,000 vehicles traversing it each day, the White House said. However, because of the bridge’s deteriorating condition, local authorities imposed load restrictions, limiting the passage of trucks and other heavy vehicles.

Mr. Biden said his infrastructure bill allocates $4.8 billion for Minnesota and $5.4 billion for Wisconsin. Both states will use some of that funding to repair the Blatnik Bridge.

“This is about much more than the bridge. It’s about opportunity across the region and across the country,” Mr. Biden said.

Republicans slammed Mr. Biden’s trip to Wisconsin, saying he offered no real solutions to the problems Americans are facing.

“Pledging to waste trillions more in taxpayer dollars while hardworking Americans are forced to pay skyrocketing prices for everyday goods proves just how out-of-touch Biden and Democrats are with the American people,” said Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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