In his first speech to Congress on Wednesday, President Biden tried to strike a tone of bipartisanship while urging lawmakers to pass his multi trillion-dollar proposals for infrastructure and economic development.
Biden went to bat on celebrating the progress made in the fight against COVID-19, along with encouraged all American to get vaccinated against the virus. He also recognized the portion of Americans who’re struggling due to the pandemic.
“America is on the move again,” he said. But the nation has “more work to do” to beat the Coronavirus, put people back to work and restore faith in democracy. “We’re at a great inflection point in history.”
Stepping out of the pandemic
A majority of Biden’s hour-long speech focused on the state of the nation a year into the COVID-19 crisis. One his administration inherited from the progress made during the previous year under President Trump.
“Now, after just 100 days, I can report to the nation: America is on the move again. Turning peril into possibility. Crisis into opportunity. Setbacks into strength,” He said. “We all know life can knock us down. But in America we never, ever, ever stay down.”
Biden also noted the 100 million shot goal set after taking office was doubled over his first 100 days. As of Thursday (4/29), 142 million American have received at least one dose of the Coronavirus vaccine.
Top earners will “pay their fair share”
The President had prepared remarks, but one of the times he went off-script was to explain how the pandemic has funneled more wealth into the pockets of America’s top earners. He also suggested that he believes there should be billionaires, under the right circumstances.
“Sometimes I have arguments with my friends in the Democratic Party,” Biden said. “I think you should be able to become a billionaire and a millionaire. But pay your fair share.”
Overall, Biden wants to implement a sweeping $2.25 trillion infrastructure and jobs plan and a $1.8 trillion family safety net proposal. How will he pay for it all? A tax increase on households making more than $400,000.
None of which is expected to pass through Congress with Republicans opposing both measures and Democrats holding a slight margin in both the House and the Senate.
Madam Speaker & Madam President: Historic night in Washington
For the first time in history, two women sat behind the President while he addressed Congress. Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), represented the line of succession to the Oval Office. They oversaw a group of nearly 200 lawmakers who were socially distanced in the chamber on Thursday night.