Highlights of Biden’s first Presidential Address to Congress

President Joe Biden’s 36 years in the Senate and eight years as vice president allowed him to attend numerous State of the Union and joint addresses to Congress. This Wednesday’s Address focused on the President’s accomplishments since he took office and pitched ahead to his plans.

Biden emphasizes that federal investments are necessary to compete with China. He called on Congress to pass is spending required to compete with emerging countries like China. The funding is for the improvement of infrastructure for drinking water and the modernization of the energy grid. The spending is part of the administration’s American Jobs Plan proposal, which he termed as the “blue-collar blueprint to build America.”

Tax Hikes were also a significant undertaking in the Biden Administration. The President pitched his plan to raise taxes on wealthy Americans and corporations— to cover the estimated $4 trillion in federal spending he is proposing. He believes these are investments that should be made together as one country, and only the government can make them. 

Another highlight of the speech is the achievement of the vaccination goal on his first 100 days in office. Along with his COVID-19 response program is the passage of the $1.9 trillion COVID-relief packages that sent aids to qualified Americans. He praised his administration’s pandemic initiatives as one of the most outstanding logistical achievements of the US.

The speech also mentioned the controversial Border Crisis, where Mr. Biden called on Congress to pass the immigration plans he released on his first day in office. But that proposal lacked the increased border security that Republicans have sought in exchange for legalization. He claimed he is willing to work on a piecemeal approach to include the protection of farmworkers and Dreamers.

As a moderate Democrat, the President reiterated that he welcomes Republican ideas on his antipoverty and infrastructure proposals and would continue to meet with members of the opposing party in the Oval Office. He also appealed to the Republicans to work hand in hand with Democrats to find a consensus on pressing police reforms and policies.

The speech lasted for about 4 hours, without the fanfare of a huge crowd. The audience of 200 attendees wore masks, socially distanced, and seated three seats apart. It was also a historical moment where a President had two women seated behind him – Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “Madam Speaker, Madam Vice President. No president has ever said those words, and it’s about time.” He gleefully greeted them.