President Joe Biden is expected to visit Illinois for the first time since taking office on Wednesday.
Here’s what we know so far about the trip, including where he plans to stop, what he hopes to accomplish and how to watch his visit:
Where is Biden today?
Biden is scheduled to visit Crystal Lake on Wednesday. His arrival, tour and remarks can all be watched live in the video player above.
Biden’s schedule today
According to the White House, he will arrive at O’Hare International Airport at around 11:35 a.m., where he will be greeted by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, per her public schedule.
At 12 p.m., Biden will leave Chicago for Crystal Lake, arriving to McHenry County College at 12:35 p.m. for a 1:20 p.m. tour to “to see how his Build Back Better agenda will help students and educators,” according to the White House.
What time is Biden’s speech today?
At around 2:05 p.m., Biden will deliver remarks at McHenry County College to “highlight the benefits” of his agenda, the White House says. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is expected to join Biden for the visit, according to Pritzker’s public schedule.
Biden will then leave Crystal Lake for Chicago at around 3:50 p.m., with an estimated departure time from O’Hare of 4:20 p.m.
Why is Biden coming to Crystal Lake?
According to the White House, Biden’s trip aims to highlight the benefits of the American Families Plan.
The American Families Plan focuses primarily on children and education. Biden has also toured the Midwest recently promoting the need for a deal to help the nation’s infrastructure.
Wednesday’s visit will include a focus on the portions of his agenda that didn’t make it into the bipartisan infrastructure deal that Biden signed onto in June, which includes hundreds of billions of dollars of investments in roads and bridges, transit systems and broadband, but constitutes only a fraction of the $4 trillion in spending Biden has proposed as part of a broader plan to reinvigorate the economy and boost the middle class.
On Wednesday, the Democratic president will highlight the rest, including his plans to invest in child care and workforce development programs and provide two years of free community college, universal prekindergarten and paid family and medical leave. He’ll make the case that investments in such programs are needed to maintain America’s economic growth and competitiveness globally.
He’ll also highlight his proposals to establish a clean energy standard and invest in home care for seniors and affordable housing. And he’ll speak about his plans to make permanent the expansion in the child tax credit and expanded health care premium subsidies from the COVID-19 aid bill.
“We have parts of McHenry County that still don’t have broadband,” said state Rep. Suzanne Ness, a Democrat whose district covers part of Crystal Lake. “I hope that’s something he’ll mention, as well as investing in education, which I think is really important as well.”
Pritzker said he looks forward to talking to Biden about the American Families Plan and noted that the infrastructure plan “will be a big victory for us here in Illinois.”
“We passed an infrastructure bill two years ago in Illinois and as a result of that the federal infrastructure bill, when it passes, if it passes, when it passes, means that we will be shovel ready with our matching funds in order to take advantage of the federal dollars that will come from an infrastructure bill,” he said Tuesday. “So I’m excited about his coming.”
The president has made two other recent visits in the Midwest.
Biden traveled to Traverse City, Michigan Saturday as part of an effort to highlight the nation’s progress against COVID-19 and promote the infrastructure plan he negotiated with a group of senators. Last week, the president toured a La Crosse, Wisconsin, transit facility and delivered remarks on the infrastructure deal.
How do residents feels about the visit?
The announcement of the president’s visit came as a welcome surprise, according to Crystal Lake Mayor Haig Haleblian.
“We had no idea that Crystal Lake would be chosen,” he said. “We’re honored and excited to have him come to our town.”
Residents and businesses told NBC 5 the presidential stop in Crystal Lake will help paint the community as a welcoming place.
“Anyone coming to Crystal Lake is always a good thing,” said restaurant owner Rachel Skubiszewski. “We’re an amazing community here.”
According to the Crystal Lake Historical Society, President Biden will be the first sitting president to visit Crystal Lake.
Former President Donald Trump won 50.2% of the vote in McHenry County in the 2020 presidential election.