MILWAUKEE — Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday made her first trip to Milwaukee since taking office.
Harris toured two of UW-Milwaukee's clean energy laboratories when she arrived Tuesday. The first laboratory visit focused on wind tunnel research on wind turbines, and the second on sustainable energy research on microgrids and batteries.
Shortly after, the vice president participated in a roundtable discussion on the investments in research and development in President Joe Biden's American Jobs Plan and its impact on local communities. The American Jobs Plan contains a robust investment in research and development, electric vehicles, education and climate change. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Congresswoman Gwen Moore, along with researchers and school administrators, were involved in the discussion.
She emphasized the $180 billion in proposed funding for research and development. At the roundtable, Harris said that would be the largest amount spent on research and development, other than in the military, in the history of the United States. Harris has been touting the plan, unveiled in March, at different stops across the country.
“It is also about an investment in our ability as Americans, who have always had the ability to see what can be, unburdened by what has been,” Harris said.
Republicans say the plan is too expensive and are calling for it to be scaled back.
“We need an infrastructure plan that actually helps us,” Republican Party of Wisconsin Chair Andrew Hitt said. “Less than 10% of it goes to roads and bridges and ports and airports, what we would typically expect out of an infrastructure bill.”
Harris traveled to General Mitchell International Airport around 10 a.m. Tuesday, per the White House. Gov. Tony Evers and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett greeted Harris in Milwaukee.
Tuesday’s trip marks the first time Harris has visited Milwaukee and Wisconsin since entering office. She last visited the city in early September of last year, where she met with the family of Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot and paralyzed by a white police officer in Kenosha the month before.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.