As Joe Biden prepares to mark 100 days in office, the US President delivered his first joint address to Congress.
Making his way to the podium, Biden was ushered in with applause from the limited number of distinguished guests who were in attendance.
WOMEN IN POWER
Biden began his 1.5 hour address by thanking Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.
“Madam speaker, madam vice president. No president has ever said those words from this podium. No president has ever said those words. And it’s about time.”
It is the first time in history that two women in leadership positions have stood behind a sitting President during a joint address.
Biden applauded his administration for its Covid-19 response, which includes having over 200 million vaccine doses administered to date.
He says “we are marshaling every federal resource. We’re getting vaccinations to nearly 40,000 pharmacies and over 700 community health centres where the poorest of the poor can be reached.”
“Go get vaccinated, America. Go and get the vaccination. They’re available. You’re eligible now.”
The President spoke of inheriting “a nation in crisis” but the administration has already begun to turn it around and the country is “on the move again”.
CLIMATE ACTION & JOB CREATION
Speaking about his new American Jobs Plan, the President believes it will “put engineers and construction workers to work, allowing them to build more energy-efficient buildings and homes.”
He says “the American Jobs Plan will help millions of people get back to their jobs and back to their careers.”
“Two million women have dropped out of the workforce during this pandemic… and too often, because they couldn’t get the care they needed to care for their child or care for an elderly parent who needs help.”
AMERICAN FAMILIES PLAN
On top of this, Biden has also confirmed details of his 1.8 trillion dollar federal investment in education, childcare and paid family leave.
The package is part two of an effort to kickstart the country’s economy back into action in the wake of Covid-19.
It aims to help families with the costs associated with childcare, make community college free, provide grants to students in need, allow paid medical leave and invest heavily in early childcare.
TAXING THE WEALTHY
In regards to taxes, the President promises “to not impose any tax increases on people making less than $400,000,” but the wealthiest have to pay their fair share.
“It’s time for corporate America and the wealthiest 1% of Americans to begin to pay their fair share.”
US, RUSSIA TENSIONS
Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin was also thrown into the spotlight, with Biden standing firm his stance against the nation.
Biden says he has “made it very clear to President Putin that the US doesn’t seek escalation… but their actions will have consequences if they turn out to be true, and they turned out to be true.”
This follows the administration imposing sweeping sanctions on a number of Moscow officials earlier this month, for their interference in the 2020 Presidential election.
BLACK LIVES MATTER
Biden is urging lawmakers to use the conviction of Derek Chauvin as a catalyst for change when it comes to reforming policing.
“We have all seen the knee of injustice on the neck of Black Americans. Now is our opportunity to make some real progress.”
He says “the vast majority of men and women in uniform wear their badge and serve their communities honorably. I know they want to help meet this moment as well.”
THE WAR ON IMMIGRATION
Biden wants America to end the country’s “exhausting war over immigration” and calls for lawmakers to stop talking about reform and finally act.
The administration has already moved to reverse many of the regulations and measures that were imposed by former President Trump.
Reports suggest backlogs at immigration centres are at least 50% higher than they were four years ago, with the Covid-19 pandemic also having an impact.
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