Biden’s 1st joint Congress speech: Key Takeaways

In his first joint address to Congress, U.S. President Joe Biden urged lawmakers to provide bipartisan support for his $4 trillion economic proposals, which he said would provide relief from the COVID-19 pandemic and make the United States more competitive with China.

“Now, after just 100 days, I can report to the nation America is on the move again,” Biden declared.

Here are a few key points from Biden's speech:

Women Have Made History

Biden was the first president of the United States to make a speech to Congress while flanked on the dais by two women: Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.


Employment and the Federal Government

Unlike several of his recent predecessors, Biden believed in the role of the federal government in improving people's lives.

He stated that his $1.8 trillion budget includes support for preschool expansion, child-care subsidies, and the implementation of a national family and medical leave program.

Biden also emphasized his $2.3 trillion plan to repair roads and bridges, expand internet connectivity, especially in rural areas, and invest in other infrastructure projects such as reviving the country's aging power grid.

China is a competitor

Biden argued that investing in the US economy was essential to compete with China, a country with increasing global influence and the world's second-largest economy, as well as one of the fastest-growing.

It is illegal to immigrate

The president urged Republican lawmakers to accept a path to citizenship for immigrants who came to the country illegally as youngsters, one of the concerns he promised to fix during his presidential campaign.

“The country supports it,” Biden said several times. “Congress should act.”

Insurgency and Democracy on January 6th

Biden remembered the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol to prevent his victory from being certified, and he urged Americans to do more to demonstrate to the world that democracy still exists.

“They look at the images of the mob that assaulted this Capitol as proof that the sun is setting on American democracy. They are wrong. And we have to prove them wrong. We have to prove democracy still works," Biden declared.

Bill on Racial Justice and Policing

Biden urged lawmakers to discuss the disproportionate number of Black men and women killed by police, a week after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of the death of George Floyd.

“We have all seen the knee of injustice on the neck of Black America. Now is our opportunity to make real progress,” Biden said.

The president, for the first time, asked Congress to pass police reform legislation known as the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020 by the first anniversary of Floyd's death in police custody on May 25, 2020.

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