Milwaukee first stop on White House infrastructure push

NOW: Milwaukee first stop on White House infrastructure push

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- President Joe Biden wants the country to spend $2 trillion rebuilding infrastructure.

Congress will have to approve the massive spending plan.

Vice President Kamala Harris is barnstorming across the country to sell voters on that plan.

Her first stop, Milwaukee, including the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

UWM professors and students created fast-charging electric car chargers.

That's the type of research the vice president wants to see more of with the president's infrastructure plan.

“To really seek out and lift up the great work that American universities and technologists and innovators are doing,” said Vice President Kamala Harris.

UWM staff said they were impressed by the vice president's grasp of the science.

"We hope that this will bring more attention to the hardcore research we are conducting here," said Electrical Engineering Professor Adel Nasiri.

The VP toured labs working on shrinking wind turbines and creating fast electric car charging stations. Professors said those are the challenges of the future.

"We're not going to be living in the past, we're going to live in an electric future, and we also have to think about including everybody when we do that," said Associate Research Dean Andy Graettinger.

One local Democrat said he's pleased with the administration's focus on jobs.

"Focusing on jobs, focusing on the agenda that we're increasing the output of our economy and making sure that folks in our neighborhoods are getting access to the 21st century jobs that we know are growing," said State Rep. David Bowen, (D-Milwaukee).

But critics said Biden's infrastructure plan spends too much on items that aren't roads and bridges.

"We need an infrastructure plan that actually helps us and rebuilds our infrastructure in this country," said Wisconsin GOP Chairman Andrew Hitt.

The vice president argued that thinking is too narrow.

“Infrastructure is basically, how are you going to get where you need to go? That’s how I define infrastructure. How are you going to get where you need to go? And part of that has to be an investment in innovation,” said Harris.

Milwaukee was the White House's first stop for selling the infrastructure plan.

The VP will visit more cities trumpeting the administration's plan as the weeks progress.

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