President Joe Biden said that "America is on the move again" after the first 100 days of his presidency during his first address to a joint session of Congress.
"Now—after just 100 days—I can report to the nation: America is on the move again. Turning peril into possibility. Crisis into opportunity. Setback into strength."
Biden started off his speech touting his administration's success in handling the coronavirus pandemic.
"After I promised 100 million COVID-19 vaccine shots in 100 days – we will have provided over 220 million COVID shots in 100 days," Biden said. "We're marshaling every federal resource. We've gotten the vaccine to nearly 40,000 pharmacies and over 700 community health centers. We're setting up community vaccination sites and are deploying mobile units into hard-to-reach areas. Today, 90% of Americans now live within 5 miles of a vaccination site."
President Biden touted the fact that the economy is growing and boasted that during the first one hundred days of his presidency, 1.3 million new jobs were created, which is "more new jobs in the first 100 days than any president on record."
"The International Monetary Fund is now estimating our economy will grow at a rate of more than 6% this year. That will be the fastest pace of economic growth in this country in nearly four decades," Biden said.
"America is moving. Moving forward. And we can't stop now."
Biden then went on to promote the American Jobs Plan, which he called "a once-in-a-generation investment in America itself."
"It creates jobs to upgrade our transportation infrastructure. Jobs modernizing roads, bridges, and highways. Jobs building ports and airports, rail corridors, and transit lines. It's clean water," Biden explained.
He promised that "the investments in the American Jobs Plan will be guided by one principle: 'Buy American.'"
"American tax dollars are going to be used to buy American products made in America that create American jobs."
President Biden also unveiled the American Families Plan, which will focus on helping families with childcare and higher education costs. Biden said that the plan includes two years of universal pre-school and two years of free community college. It will also expand Pell Grants, which helps millions of students afford to go to college.
"When this nation made 12 years of public education universal in the last century, it made us the best-educated and best-prepared nation in the world," Biden said. "But the world is catching up. They are not waiting. Twelve years is no longer enough today to compete in the 21st Century. That's why the American Families Plan guarantees four additional years of public education for every person in America – starting as early as we can."
The plan also provides paid family leave, helps Americans cover childcare costs, and extends the enhanced Child Tax Credit through the end of 2025.
Biden then focused on how he plans to pay for all of his proposals. He admitted that taxes will have to be raised but vowed he "will not impose any tax increases on people making less than $400,000 a year."
"It's time for corporate America and the wealthiest 1% of Americans to pay their fair share," Biden said. "Just pay their fair share."
He said that the coronavirus pandemic increased the divide between the wealthy and the middle class.
"Twenty million Americans lost their jobs in the pandemic – working- and middle-class Americans. At the same time, the roughly 650 Billionaires in America saw their net worth increase by more than $1 Trillion. Let me say that again. Just 650 people increased their wealth by more than $1 Trillion during this pandemic. They are now worth more than $4 Trillion."
"My fellow Americans, trickle-down economics has never worked."
Biden also called on Congress to enact police reform following the murder of George Floyd by a former Minneapolis police officer.
"We have all seen the knee of injustice on the neck of Black America. Now is our opportunity to make real progress."
Biden urged the Senate to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act by the first anniversary of Floyd's death.
My fellow Americans, we have to come together. To rebuild trust between law enforcement and the people they serve. To root out systemic racism in our criminal justice system. And to enact police reform in George Floyd's name that passed the House already," Biden said.
President Biden also laid out his other priorities for his administration, including battling climate change, immigration reform, ending the gun violence epidemic, and bringing U.S. troops home from Afghanistan.
Biden wrapped up his speech by saying that the "future will belong to America."
"And I can say with absolute confidence: I have never been more confident or more optimistic about America."
He said there is nothing that Americans cannot achieve if we work together as one nation.
"We are the United States of America. There is nothing – nothing – beyond our capacity – nothing we can't do – if we do it together."
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