President Joe Biden will deliver his first address to Congress on Wednesday and will set out his agenda for pandemic recovery and economic development. In his speech, he is expected to herald the government’s successful efforts to vaccinate 200 million people in the first 100 days, comment on legislation to curb police violence, and advance his massive infrastructure proposal.
Biden’s address will be on Wednesday, April 28 at 9 p.m. ET. It will be broadcast live on major networks such as PBS, CNN, Fox and NBC on C-SPAN and streamed on the official White House YouTube page.
However, Biden’s speech is not a speech on the state of the Union. These happen every January. Biden, like any other president in the first year of his or her first term, will deliver what is known as an address before a joint session of Congress.
This year’s joint address will differ from the previous one – also due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Due to the Covid-19 restrictions recommended by the Capitol Doctor, only 200 members of Congress will attend, far fewer than normal years when almost every legislature and their guests typically attend. The State and Defense Ministers are the only Cabinet members expected, while only Supreme Court Justice John Roberts will be present.
Also noteworthy are the people behind Biden who give his address. For the first time, two women, Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, will sit behind the President.
The address also comes later than most: every president since Ronald Reagan delivered his first address in February, including President Donald Trump, who used his February 28, 2017 speech to put an end to the “trivial struggles” that the first month ruled its administration – and that ended for the next four years.
Biden said he would like to spend his first few weeks in office and initially focus on fighting the coronavirus pandemic. But the delay gives him an opportunity to announce his first legislative victory: The American Rescue Plan, a $ 1.9 trillion Covid-19 aid package that gives millions of Americans stimulus checks, expands the federal government’s labor insurance program and funding for vaccines has been provided distribution among other things.
And a later speech gives Biden the opportunity to highlight the advances in vaccination: 200 million shots have now made it into American arms. Almost 54 percent of adults have received at least one dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But Biden’s speech isn’t just about what happened. It is also intended to support future legislation. And that means a focus on the infrastructure.
During his joint address, Biden has two important infrastructure proposals to sell
The White House envisioned the American rescue plan as the first step in the federal response to the pandemic – it was seen as a tool to halt short-term economic damage and pave the way for a return to normal life. Future plans should ensure the real recovery, of which Biden presented the first in early April: the American Jobs Plan.
The plan could boost the economy in the long term, repair crumbling infrastructure and support the transition to green energy. If passed, $ 621 billion in infrastructure would be allocated to repair the country’s derelict roads, bridges, ports and railroad systems, and another $ 300 billion would be allocated to support production, among other things. It’s a plan Biden wants to pay for by increasing the corporate tax rate to 28 percent and filling loopholes with offshore banks and international corporations.
Biden is expected to pitch this plan on Wednesday night, and he will also detail the proposal’s counterpart, the American Families Plan. It is a $ 1.8 trillion proposal that focuses on “human infrastructure” funding childcare, universal preschool programs, tuition-free community colleges and paid family vacations, and extending child and tax credits Earned income enables.
“The core of it [speech] He will set out the details of the American family plan, his commitment to childcare, education and the implementation of these priorities, “White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters last Thursday.
Both plans would fundamentally shift the role of the federal government in serving the Americans. As Vox’s Ella Nilsen writes:
Biden’s employment plan also reveals a government rethinking the role of government in America. In place of the anti-government ethos that has permeated both Democratic and Republican governments since Ronald Reagan, the Biden administration welcomes the grand cloak of historic Democratic Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson.
The Biden government tries to classify welfare programs like medical leave and universal access to education as a kind of human infrastructure. He will address both of these points in his speech on Wednesday as he tries to garner support from moderate Republicans in Congress and from Democrats who are wary of proposals that deviate from the political center.
The government is seeking bipartisan support for its employment plan as it takes Democrats 10 Republican senators to beat the filibuster in the Senate. Republicans and corporations have acknowledged the country’s need to rebuild its highways and bridges, but have so far signaled caution about spending too much on them – as well as an outright rejection of Biden’s plan to pay for the initiative.
Democrats could try to pass the plan through budget balancing – this process only requires a simple majority to pass bills in the Senate, although there are limits to what can be in those bills, as Vox’s Dylan Scott explained. Democrats currently have 51 votes in the Senate (taking into account Vice President Harris’s vote) and could potentially pass the infrastructure plans through reconciliation.
To do this, however, they have to keep all Democrats – including Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), who called for non-partisanship when drafting the infrastructure package – up to date. And Biden’s speech will, in part, be an argument as to why they should follow his example.
Biden will also look into the problems of policing
Just over a week after a jury in Minneapolis decided to convict former police officer Derek Chauvin of the murder of George Floyd, Biden will urge Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, Psaki said.
“I think he is promising the Floyd family that he will use the power of his presidency – the bully’s pulpit, as he intends to do during his joint address next week; the role of senior executives in his administration – to advance the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, “Psaki said at a press conference last Wednesday.
The Law on Justice in the Police Force calls for a number of federal reforms, including demilitarizing police departments, improving data collection on police misconduct, and expanding access to body cameras. Biden is expected to highlight how the bill can help reduce the number of police killings and how the issues of racial bias in policing can be addressed.
Senator Tim Scott will provide the GOP response to Biden’s joint address
Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) – a rising GOP star who has taken the lead in his party’s Congressional talks on police policy – will refute Biden’s Republican speech.
Scott, in particular, is the only black Republican in the Senate. Of the 124 lawmakers in Congress who identify as non-white, only 17 percent are Republicans. The diversity in GOP circles has increased gradually over the past few years, but it is still low. Scott’s speech could aim to change that – and build on the accomplishments Trump made with some Americans of color.
“I look forward to speaking with the American people about what matters to me and the conservative values that have led to some of the greatest achievements the world has ever known,” said Scott in a video. that he published on Twitter account Monday.
Humbled at the opportunity to speak to the nation on Wednesday. I can’t wait to share what’s close to my heart – hope you tune in! pic.twitter.com/jE6tKMwdZZ
– Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) April 26, 2021
Speeches from Republican emergency services have had mixed results in recent years. Nikki Haley’s 2016 response helped propel her into the national spotlight. She is reportedly now considering holding a presidential election in 2024. Bobby Jindal, Bob McDonnell and Paul Ryan, who spoke in 2009, 2010 and 2011, all now have a greatly reduced public presence.
The Working Families Party will give a progressive answer
Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) will give the progressive answer on behalf of the Working Families Party (WFP). This is the fourth time the group has responded to a presidential address in front of Congress. Bowman, a first-term representative who was backed by the WFP during a controversial primary campaign against incumbent Eliot Engel last year, is considered a rising star on the party’s progressive side.
“As we near the first hundred days of the president’s term of office, we should celebrate our victories, take stock of where we have fallen short, and be crystal clear on what it takes to really rebuild and rebuild and recover.” achieve democracy Our people deserve it, ”Bowman said in a press release last week.
Last year, the Working Families Party response was given by Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), whose national profile has only risen since then.
Above all, Biden wants to unite the country
Biden has made unity an important part of his message and it is likely that he will bring up the issue on Wednesday night. He must explain why Democrats should stay united on infrastructure to keep the path of reconciliation open, while pitching Republicans to negotiate with Democrats in good faith. And he will try to cement public support. He raises the proposals as a litmus test for the American government.
The stakes are certainly high. For Biden, the plans represent the way out of the pandemic, but also raise an important question, as he said when drawing up the employment plan earlier this month: “Can democracies still deliver for their people?”