President Joe Biden was expected to visit Hartford’s Capitol Child Development Center Friday afternoon, in an effort to boost support for his social safety net package which includes additional funding to offset the costs of child care.
A closely divided Congress is currently haggling over Biden’s $3.5 trillion Build Back Better proposal, which includes among a host of social spending programs, new funding to support child care and pre-K education. Biden is expected to deliver remarks at the capitol area day care center on the importance of investment in childcare as parents return to work.
“The average annual cost of a childcare center for a toddler in Hartford is $16,000,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said during a Thursday press briefing. “And a typical four-person household in the state would need to spend more than 26 percent of their income for childcare for two young children each year.”
The president will appear in Hartford with his ally, Gov. Ned Lamont. A web of streets were shut down Friday morning around the state Capitol building near the child care center. As of 9:30 a.m., parts of Broad Street and Capitol Avenue were closed to traffic. Intermittent closures were also expected on Airport Road, Brainard Road, Maxim Road, and Reserve Road. All Hartford closures were expected to be lifted by around 2 p.m.
The president was scheduled to fly into Bradley International Airport in the early afternoon. Following his remarks in Hartford, Biden will travel to Storrs to attend a dedication at the University of Connecticut’s Dodd Center for Human Rights around 4 p.m.
The center was named for former Sen. Thomas J. Dodd, who served as a prosecutor during the Nuremberg trials. On Friday, it will be rededicated to include his son, former Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd. Biden and the younger Dodd served together for nearly three decades in the U.S. Senate and remain close friends.
In an interview published earlier this week by Politico, Chris Dodd downplayed his role as an adviser to the president, saying “I’m an old friend who’s available if he needs me to talk about something … I’m certainly friends and we talk occasionally, but to suggest some sort of informal adviser — a lot of people like to be, I don’t quite call myself [that].”
Friday will mark Biden’s second visit to Connecticut, a longtime Democratic stronghold, since taking office this year. In May, he attended a graduation ceremony at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London.