President Joe Biden Gave His First Address to Congress. Here Are the Four Takeaways You Need to Know.
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President Joe Biden announced a $1.8 trillion plan on Wednesday to help low- and middle-income families. In his first address to Congress, Biden spoke about his American Families Plan that will be funded by taxing America’s richest.
Biden believes that his plan is needed to make a “once in a generation investment in our families and children.” Here are the four takeaways from his speech to a joint session of Congress, according to the Wall Street Journal’s executive Washington editor Gerald Seib.
Big plans ahead. Total federal spending will reach $6 trillion in the coming years with Biden’s American Families Plan, the American Rescue Package and plans to improve the country’s infrastructure. The $1.8 trillion American Families Plan includes federal funds targeted at low- and middle-income families, aid to students and tax cuts.
Biden used the word “jobs” more than 40 times in his address to Congress. The president stressed that a greater emphasis on jobs will help achieve his federal funding initiatives. He added that jobs are essential in “modernizing our roads, bridges, highways, and airports and building transit lines.”
“Biden sees himself as the champion of the working man and woman,” Seib said.
Biden couldn’t avoid talking about taxes. While no politician likes to talk about taxes, according to Seib, Biden spoke about how federal funding for his plans will come from taxing the county’s wealthiest corporations and individuals.
“It’s time for corporate America and the wealthiest 1% began to pay their fair share,” Biden said. “I am not looking to punish anybody, but I will not add a tax burden to the middle class in this country. They’re already paying enough.”
The coronavirus pandemic set the stage for Biden’s initial achievements as president. The downturn in the U.S. economy caused by the pandemic “has laid the groundwork” for the aid programs that Biden announced, according to Seib.
The president typically speaks in caution when addressing concerns about Covid-19, but, in his address to Congress, that caution came with a bit of optimism, Seib said.
"Because of you, the American people, our progress these past 100 days against one of the worst pandemics in history is one of the greatest logistical achievements our country has ever seen," Biden said in his speech.
To date, 42% of people in the U.S. (141.7 million) have received the first of the two-dose vaccine, while 96.7 million are fully vaccinated, according to the latest CDC data.