Biden is flying to Milwaukee to participate in a CNN town hall at 8 p.m. EST. Wisconsin – a battleground state that helped secure Biden’s victory in the November election – has been hard hit by the pandemic and facing economic fallout.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last week that the town hall would be “an opportunity to hear directly from people about how the dual crises are impacting them.”
Biden has traveled to his home state of Delaware and to the Camp David presidential retreat since taking office on Jan. 20, but the trip to Milwaukee is his first on official business since becoming commander-in-chief.
With the U.S. Senate having acquitted Trump in his second impeachment trial on Saturday, the White House is eager to press ahead with Biden’s agenda on the economy, fighting COVID-19, curbing climate change and addressing racial inequality.
Biden wants Congress to pass his $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill in the coming weeks in order to get $1,400 stimulus checks out to Americans and bolster unemployment payments.
The president faces resistance from Republicans over the high price tag of the stimulus bill. Biden and his allies have argued that going “big” will help boost the economy and bring the pandemic under control in a country where more than 485,000 people have died from COVID-19.
The White House strategy to promote the package and other policy goals involves getting out to voters. Having been vaccinated for the coronavirus, Biden, 78, is stepping up his travel in coming days.
On Thursday, Biden will visit Michigan, another swing state, to see a Pfizer manufacturing site and talk to workers involved in making the company’s COVID-19 vaccine. The state’s 16 Electoral College votes also contributed to Biden’s election win.
Reuters contributed to this report. Reporting by Jeff Mason.