116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
DES MOINES — President Joe Biden plans a visit Tuesday to Menlo, a small community just west of Des Moines, a White House official said Saturday.
Biden will speak about his administration’s plans to address rising costs to consumers and highlight investments in infrastructure, particularly in rural communities, the official said. Menlo is a town of 345 people, about 45 miles west of Des Moines in Guthrie County.
More details about the trip will be released in the coming days, the White House official said.
It will be Biden’s first trip to Iowa for the first time since his election in November 2020.
Biden has visited other states to tout the bipartisan infrastructure bill that was passed in November. Iowa will receive roughly $5 billion over five years in new federal funding under the bipartisan infrastructure bill, the White House said when the bill was being approved by Congress.
“I’m thrilled to welcome President Biden back to Iowa,” Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Ross Wilburn said in a news release issued Friday, when news of Biden’s pending visit first broke.
“Thanks to President Biden’s leadership, we now have the tools to repair Iowa's roads and bridges, connect our rural communities with high-speed internet access, clean up our drinking water, and provide tens of thousands of Iowans with access to affordable health care,” Wilburn said.
Biden was last in Iowa on Oct. 30, 2020, for a campaign event at the Iowa State Fairgrounds just four days before the general election. While Biden lost Iowa by 8 percentage points, he defeated Republican President Donald Trump for the White House.
That was Biden’s only visit to Iowa during the general election campaign. He was a frequent visitor to Iowa in the months leading up to the February 2020 Iowa caucuses, in which he finished fourth behind Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
“As Republicans like (Gov.) Kim Reynolds and (U.S. Sen.) Chuck Grassley repeatedly turn their backs on Iowans and take credit for programs passed by Democrats, I’m eager for Iowans to hear directly from our Commander-in-Chief how Democrats are lowering costs for working families, delivering for rural communities, and building a better Iowa,” Wilburn said in his statement.
Republican Party of Iowa State Chairman Jeff Kaufmann also issued a statement Friday about Biden’s pending visit, noting Biden’s low job approval numbers here. Just 35 percent of Iowans approve of Biden’s performance as president while 59 disapprove, according to the most recent Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll, from early March.
“I’d like to welcome Joe Biden back to Iowa, a state he lost by eight points, and where his popularity has sunk even lower today,” Kaufmann said in his statement. “Iowans and Americans are worse off than they were a year ago because of Biden's out-of-touch policies and broken promises. … Maybe a trip back to Iowa will be just what Joe Biden needs to understand what his reckless spending, big government policies are doing to our country.”
When addressing ways to lower consumer costs, Biden may talk about corn-based ethanol, a key issue in the country’s top corn-producing state.
According to a spokesman for POET, a biofuels company based just across Iowa’s northwestern border in Sioux Falls, S.D., said the company hopes Biden will announce a federal waiver that would clear the way for gas stations to sell the E15 blend of ethanol — a higher blend than the 10 percent ethanol fuel commonly available — year-round. Currently, E15 cannot be sold in Iowa during the summer.
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