Vice President Kamala Harris tours UWM energy labs, participates in roundtable
VP Harris arrived in Air Force Two around 11:30 a.m.
Her first stop was the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's clean energy labs. She was given a tour of labs researching wind turbines, batteries and microgrids. Harris was focused on asking questions about what kind of skills people in the community would need to participate in related jobs. The vice president held up the UW system as a positive example of federal investment into research.
“The president has made it a priority of our administration to really seek out and lift up the great work that our American universities and innovators and technologists are doing,” Harris said.
Harris took part in a roundtable discussion on the investments in Research and Development in the American Jobs Plan. Rep Gwen Moore, D-WI, and Sen Tammy Baldwin, D-WI, joined the vice president in pushing for the plan.
“We need to put people to work rebuilding our neglected and crumbling infrastructure in this country," Baldwin said. "And we need to support our manufacturing economy.”
Harris responded to criticism that the Biden infrastructure plan is light on investment into traditional infrastructure: such as roads, bridges and ports. She argued elements of the package like investing in broadband internet, and the kind of research and development happening at UWM, are just as important.
“Infrastructure is basically, how are you going to get where you need to go," Harris said. "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, so we can get to the place where certainly other people are going.”
Vice President Harris is expected to stay in the Midwest this week.
She’s set to travel to Baltimore and Cincinnati over the coming days.