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President Joe Biden visits Cincinnati, meets with business leaders – The Cincinnati Enquirer

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President Joe Biden toured a metal manufacturer in Hamilton to pressure Congress to pass legislation he said will create more jobs in Ohio and elsewhere.
“Most of us agree on this, pass the damn bill,” Biden said, promoting the Bipartisan Innovation Act.
The president made his comments in a warehouse of United Performance Metals before an invite-only crowd of dozens, mostly made up largely of labor leaders, local Democratic officials and the heads of trade schools.
The theme of Biden’s visit was 3D printing, a cutting-edge manufacturing technology that makes products, such as machine parts, by assembling fine layers of material. He saw jet engine parts and the fuel tank of a national security satellite, all made with 3D printing, in United Performance Metals’ hangar.
John Slattery, CEO of GE Aviation, told the president about his company’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions. Biden seemed impressed.
“This is why I wanted to come out,” Biden said. “This is the future. I’ve been a big proponent of this for a long time.”
There was at least one Republican in the audience, Sen. Rob Portman. He’s retiring, but it’s rare to a politician of an opposing party attend a president’s speech.
Portman, who negotiated the $1 trillion infrastructure bill with the Biden administration and a bipartisan group of senators, said Congress needs to pass the innovation bill. The bill, among other things, would provide $52 million for semiconductors, a critical component in a range of technology including refrigerators and computers. The shortage of semiconductors has caused a delay in auto production.
“It’s too darn important for America to get caught up in partisan politics,” he said.
Biden said the money for semiconductors will pay dividends for Ohio. Intel, which is locating a plant near Columbus for semiconductors, will increase its investment from $20 billion to $100 billion.
While pushing innovation, Biden abruptly alluded to federal funding to fix the Brent Spence Bridge.
“That bridge you want to really build to Kentucky is going to get better,” he said.
Biden, during his speech, said he’s “never been more optimistic about America than I am today.”
But Biden’s visit also comes a day after the worst day on the stock market in more than one year.
Investors are nervous about the highest inflation rates since the 1980s: 8.5% in March, according to the Labor Department. The Federal Reserve is increasing key interest rates in an effort to tame increased prices for American consumers, but there is concern it could chill economic growth, possibly causing another recession.
Before the speech, while standing among the machinery, Biden told the local business leaders of General Electric Aviation, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon and other tech companies they are the future.
“I was at a plant where they were making whole automobiles on that, entire automobile on that, not part, the whole deal on 3D printing,” he said. “It’s amazing what’s coming … It’s going to revolutionize the whole world.”
U.S. Senate candidate J.D. Vance criticized Biden for his energy policies and rising inflation during a Friday morning press call with Ohio Republican Party Chair Bob Paduchik. 
Vance’s Democratic opponent, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, didn’t attend Friday’s event because of a funeral and other obligations, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, adding the president “remains in close touch” with Ryan.
Paduchik said the Biden administration and Democrats in Congress are “punishing working class Americans” through policy decisions like Biden canceling the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline. He compared Biden’s policies to “America First” policies under former President Donald Trump’s administration that he said created record-high levels of employment and increased wages.
Trump’s presidency did begin with promising employment numbers, but there was historically low job growth overall during his time in office.
Wages did increase for low-income workers under Trump’s administration, though that was largely due to minimum wage increases in more than half of the states.
Biden’s stimulus plan caused inflation, critics say. But others argue it saved the economy..

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