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Biden headed to Detroit Wednesday to talk infrastructure, visit GM plant

President Joe Biden will visit Detroit Wednesday two days after he is expected to sign the $1.2 trillion bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the White House said Thursday. 

The visit to the General Motors Co.'s Factory ZERO electric vehicle assembly plant will be Biden's first visit since an Oct. 5 visit to Howell, where he touted infrastructure spending. The Democratic president is expected to revisit the topic during Wednesday's stop in Detroit after a scheduled Monday bill signing. 

The Detroit factory is one of four that GM plans to have in North American making electric vehicles. The automaker's plan is to offer 30 EVs offered by 2025 and provide an all zero-emissions lineup by 2035. This is the first year GM is spending more money investing in EVs than it is in gas-and-diesel-powered products.

"The electric trucks, SUVs and autonomous vehicles built at Factory ZERO will transform GM and the automotive industry," according to a statement GM released Wednesday.

Biden is driven around in a specially designed Cadillac nicknamed "The Beast: and owns a 1967 Corvette Stingray. 

Under the infrastructure package set to be signed Monday, Michigan would receive about $10 billion in federal funding over five years, including $7.3 billion from federal highway programs and $563 million for bridge replacement and repairs, according to White House estimates based on transportation funding formulas. 

President Joe Biden speaks at the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 324 in Howell on Tuesday, October 5, 2021. Biden is scheduled to visit Detroit on Wednesday to talk about the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill.

Michigan is also slated to receive over five years an additional $1 billion to improve public transit and $1.3 billion to improve water infrastructure, including lead service line replacement, under traditional funding formulas. The state will get $100 million to expand access to high-speed broadband internet.

The White House further estimated that over five years Michigan would get $363 million for airport infrastructure, $110 million toward an electric vehicle charging network,  and $23 million to guard against wildfires and $24 million to protect against cyberattacks.

In Howell, Biden acknowledged severe flooding in Metro Detroit during the summer and noted the infrastructure proposal at the time had about $50 billion in it to combat climate change.

After the passage of the infrastructure funding, Biden and Democrats in Congress have turned their sights on the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act to create a social safety net and climate spending package. 

Democrats hope to pass the package later this month. 

eleblanc@detroitnews.com