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Biden visits Connecticut to promote his childcare proposals

<i>BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images</i><br/>US President Joe Biden is greeted by Col. Matthew Jones (R)
AFP via Getty Images
US President Joe Biden is greeted by Col. Matthew Jones (R)

By Maegan Vazquez and Kaitlan Collins, CNN

President Joe Biden is visiting Connecticut on Friday to deliver a speech touting his administration’s child care proposals and attend the dedication of the Dodd Center for Human Rights at the University of Connecticut.

The White House said Biden will visit a child care center in Hartford, where he’ll deliver “remarks promoting his Build Back Better Agenda and highlighting the importance of investing in child care to keep costs down for working families.”

The President is then expected to travel to Storrs, Connecticut, for the dedication ceremony of the Dodd Center, named after Nuremberg prosecutor and former US Sen. Thomas Dodd and his son, former US Sen. Chris Dodd — Biden’s longtime friend and peer in the Senate.

Biden will see every member of the Connecticut congressional delegation during the trip, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont and US Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, according to the White House.

Ahead of his departure to Connecticut, Biden again refrained from speaking with reporters. A senior administration official indicated that the President’s mum behavior is to avoid saying something that could jeopardize negotiations with Congress to secure a deal for his legislative priorities.

While it’s ultimately up to the President if he wants to take questions, the senior administration official says there is a reason behind Biden’s silence.

“He doesn’t want to add to the conversation,” the official told CNN regarding negotiations over the fate of his domestic agenda. “He doesn’t want to shift anything” by commenting publicly.

Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One en route to Connecticut, White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declined to say whether the trip, focused in part on childcare, is indicative of concern from the White House that the childcare provisions in the social safety net expansion package could be slimmed down during negotiations.

Jean-Pierre also would not answer whether Biden would sign a bill that did not include a part of his child care components.

The President, who often interacts with the press corps, also didn’t take questions following remarks on the global supply chain while in the Oval Office with the Kenyan President on Thursday or as he addressed the disappointing jobs report last week.

White House officials have started signaling that they are ready to see movement on the reconciliation package soon, though CNN has reported that a deal on the party’s sweeping economic package “is far from secured.”

Biden has spoken privately to the two leading Democratic moderates who are at the center of his stalled agenda in Congress, but aides have declined to detail his latest talks with West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin or Arizona Sen. Krysten Sinema.

“I’m just not going to give you a lay-down of every call,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Thursday, noting both Biden and senior staff have been in touch with the lawmakers.

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CNN’s Jasmine Wright contributed to this report.



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