President Joe Biden is addressing a joint session of Congress—the traditional replacement for a State of the Union address in a president’s first year. This year, of course, the format of the speech is also shaped by COVID-19. There will be a limited audience.
Biden has serious legislative priorities to advocate for, including the $1.8 trillion American Families Plan, which he unveiled Wednesday morning, along with the American Jobs Plan and immigration reform. He can, if he chooses, also take a well-earned victory lap on COVID-19 vaccinations, though he’d do best to temper that with concern for the situation outside the U.S., especially in India.
The Republican response will be given by Sen. Tim Scott.
You can watch on most television networks or stream it here or at many media organization websites.
If you’re waiting for Republican reactions, Sen. Marsha Blackburn has you covered. She posted her own response to Biden’s not-yet-happened speech over an hour ago. [Whoops-that tweet now deleted.]
For the first time in history, the two public officials standing behind the president during a joint address will both be women. Asked about the significance of this moment, Vice President Kamala Harris responded: “Normal.”
Biden celebrates vaccine progress, noting that 220 million vaccine doses will have been administered as of his 100th day.
Biden is aggressively emphasizing the jobs that will be created through infrastructure and clean energy plans—and asks Congress to adopt a $15 million minimum wage.
Biden’s speech is, broadly, a vision for how to keep America competitive, revitalize the long-term economy, educate workers, research new technologies, and revolutionize healthcare. It’s been a very long time since a president stood up to give such a comprehensive long-term plan for such revitalization—rather than mocking Americans for wanting it.
“Trickle down economics has never worked,” says Biden, slamming the conservative fetish and especially the failed 2017 tax law. “It’s time to grow the economy from the bottom up, and middle out.”