Illinois Gov. Pritzker meets with Biden at White House

JB Pritzker joined a bipartisan group of mayors and governors who met with President Joe Biden at the White House on Wednesday.

The Illinois governor said he asked for more money to be spent on early childhood education.

Calling it "a subject that’s extraordinarily important to me," Pritzker said he told the president and Vice President Kamala Harris that "investment in early childhood development and early childhood education and childcare" would yield huge future dividends for America.

The governor was two seats over from the president and vice president during the meeting. Afterward, he lavished praise on the "human infrastructure" portion of Biden’s plan.

"This is a problem for families all across America. If you wanna know why many people haven't gotten back to work yet, even though there are help wanted signs, it's often because they can't find affordable child care. So, we need a human infrastructure bill," Pritzker said.


The more traditional, construction side of Biden’s infrastructure proposal dovetails with a top priority of the city of Chicago. Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration acknowledged that a precipitous decline in revenues caused by the pandemic reduced funding for the ongoing modernization of O’Hare.

At the meeting, Biden made clear that airports are a top priority for him, too.

"I found it disturbing to find out that they asked, I think it was, ‘Name the 25 Best Airports in the World.’ The United States wasn't even mentioned," Biden said.

When asked about opposition to Biden’s big spending plan among some Illinois Republicans, Pritzker suggested their districts would benefit at least as much as those of Democrats would.

"There are many, many more miles of roads that need to be repaired in those areas," Pritzker said. "Not to mention we've got to replace our lead-lined pipes across the state of Illinois."

Biden said he hopes his nationwide plan for trillions of dollars in construction will not fall apart, as happened under former President Donald Trump.

"Hopefully it won't be like the last team in here…and not get anything done," Biden said. "That's what my Build Back Better agenda is all about."