MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris planned to tour clean energy laboratories on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campus Tuesday during her first Wisconsin visit since taking office.
Wisconsin Republicans said instead of coming to the Upper Midwest state, Harris’ time would be better spent at the U.S. border dealing with the increase of migrants trying to cross from Mexico.
Harris was also scheduled to participate in a roundtable discussion about the investments in research and development proposed in President Joe Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure jobs plan, which would rebuild roads and bridges, boost broadband access and make other improvements.
Harris has been touting the plan, unveiled in March, at stops across the country. Republicans say the plan is too expensive and are calling for it to be scaled back.
Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, in a statement Tuesday, called Biden’s plan a “boondoggle” and said he was interested to see how Harris justifies the spending.
“Instead of creating more opportunities, it will kill people’s jobs, increase their taxes, and further implement radical leftists’ agenda,” Johnson said. “Happy to have her visit Milwaukee, but she really ought to inspect the crisis President Biden created at the border.”
Early Tuesday, two Wisconsin Republican legislative leaders who recently visited the U.S. border in Texas sent Harris a letter criticizing her for not visiting southern border states. Biden has put her in charge of diplomatic efforts to address the root causes of migration to the U.S.
“We appreciate the visit to Wisconsin; but, respectfully, you have much bigger problems to deal with right now,” Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke and Speaker Pro Tempore Tyler August wrote. “As the person who is supposed to be the most qualified to address this issue, we implore you to start taking action now to help our southern border.”
The lawmakers, at a Capitol news conference, also called on Democratic Gov. Tony Evers to send Wisconsin National Guard troops to the border. Evers withdrew Guard troops from the region shortly after taking office in 2019.
Steineke said no taxpayer money was used for the trip, which the lawmakers paid for in part with campaign donations, he said. August said they were invited to the border in Texas by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank.
They called immigration at the border a “humanitarian crisis” that would affect Wisconsin and the entire country because people trying to enter there spread out nationwide. Steineke and August said local officials, including a Democratic county sheriff, said they are desperate for help.
“This should not fall on the backs of southern border states themselves,” Steineke said. “It’s just as much about our security as theirs.”
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Source: CBS Minnesota