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Biden travels to Pennsylvania to advertise his infrastructure plan as lawmakers close to a deal.


President Biden traveled to Lehigh Valley, Pa., to bolster assist for his infrastructure package on the day of a critical breakthrough with Republicans on the Hill, who mentioned that they had resolved the largest sticking factors to a remaining settlement on a far-reaching infrastructure plan, and deliberate to vote to permit the package deal to advance.

After touring a plant that produces Mack vans, Mr. Biden underscored the significance of American manufacturing and unveiled a brand new proposal to assist home manufacturing by growing the quantity of U.S.-made merchandise bought by the federal authorities.

“In recent times, ‘Purchase America’ has turn into a hole promise,” Mr. Biden mentioned. “My administration goes to make ‘Purchase America’ a actuality, and I’m placing the load of the federal authorities behind that dedication.”

Standing in entrance of two Mack vans and an outsized American flag, Mr. Biden mentioned he was making the largest enforcement modifications within the “Purchase America” regulation in 70 years, with the objective of funneling tens of billions of {dollars} into jobs in communities like Allentown.

The federal authorities procures about $600 billion of products a yr, together with all the things from helicopter blades to workplace furnishings, based on the Workplace of Administration and Price range. Mr. Biden introduced on Wednesday that he was altering the “Purchase American” guidelines associated to purchases made with taxpayer {dollars}. The plan is to extend the share of part components that must be manufactured domestically from 55 % to 60 %, with a graduated improve to 75 %.

“55 % is just not excessive sufficient,” Mr. Biden mentioned, referring to the home content material of merchandise offered by contractors. “We obtained a brand new sheriff on the town.”

He added: “if American corporations know we’re going to be shopping for from them, they’re going to be extra inclined to rent and make key investments sooner or later of their corporations.”

Mr. Biden’s efforts to advertise the financial system and his infrastructure plan, nonetheless, got here alongside regarding new information about the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant, and the potential of variants to return. Nervousness in regards to the pandemic has begun to rise once more, and Mr. Biden was anticipated to announce on Thursday that civilian federal workers will be required to get vaccinated or get weekly checks.

Carrying a masks for a part of his journey, Mr. Biden brushed apart reporters’ questions in regards to the possibility of imposing vaccination requirements.

On Tuesday, the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention referred to as for common masking in colleges and informed vaccinated Individuals that they should begin wearing masks again within the many counties within the nation the place the virus is surging. On the identical time, officers in Congress and the White House reinstituted indoor masks necessities for employees to counter the surge.

The return to masking within the West Wing got here simply over two months after Mr. Biden and senior officers shed their face masks, within the largest signal of a triumphant return towards normalcy since he took workplace.