U.S. President Joe Biden kicked off his “Investing in America” tour with a visit to the Tar Heel State Tuesday, highlighting multiple pieces of legislation related to the tour’s agenda. These include the Inflation Reduction Act, the CHIPS and Science Act, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the American Rescue Plan. The White House is using the tour to highlight Biden’s domestic agenda of growing the economy from the “bottom up.”
Biden traveled on Air Force One and landed in North Carolina at Raleigh-Durham International Airport around noon. He then traveled by motorcade to Wolfspeed, Inc. in Durham’s Research Triangle Park. The Wolfspeed facility is a semiconductor factory. It announced a $5 billion dollar investment earlier this year, which would create 1,800 new jobs. Its newest manufacturing facility is in Chatham County, and will be the world’s largest silicon carbide materials facility.
Biden began his remarks by addressing the shooting at The Covenant School on March 27 in Nashville, Tennessee where three adults and three children died. Biden said he wants America to step up and work together to end gun violence. He called on Congress to pass significant gun safety legislation.
“We have to do more to stop this kind of violence and ripping communities apart or being a part of a soulless nation. Protect our children so they can learn how to read and write,” Biden said. “As a nation we owe these families more than our prayers. We owe them action.”
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo also traveled to Durham for the visit. Raimondo said if Americans invest in “our people” and “our infrastructure,” the United States would lead the world once again with innovations.
“North Carolina represents the opportunity and the potential for us to rebuild American factories by investing in America,” Raimondo said.
Gov. Roy Cooper also spoke at the event and said they were able to provide a $1.8 billion bonus for becoming the 40th state to expand Medicaid.
“Now more than 600,000 people will be able to get quality health care. This will have a major impact on our mental health system,” Cooper said.
President and CEO of Wolfspeed Gregg Lowe said with Biden’s support, the company will be able to flourish. He added that the $5 billion facility will help to increase production and jobs, as well as brighten the future for America.
“With the support of the U.S. government to invest in semiconductor companies like wolfspeed we have the confidence to keep pushing forward,” Lowe said.
The administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Michael Regan, native of Goldsboro, will also visit North Carolina for the tour — though the date of his visit has yet to be announced. Regan formerly served as the secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.
The “Investing in America” tour is set to continue through the weeks of April 3-10. It coincides with a congressional recess and members of Congress will join Biden for some of the stops.