Biden plots ‘once in a generation investment’ for Congress – KBC


US President Joe Biden has outlined a plan for investment in employment, education and social care in his first address to the joint session of Parliament.

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Redeemed on the eve of his 100th day in office, Democrats set plans to include $ 4 trillion (£ 2.9tn) in spending – the biggest adjustment to American profits since the 1960s, analysts say.

He called it “once in a generation investment in America itself”.

But the proposals face stiff opposition from the Republican Party.

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Republican Senator Tim Scott called Mr Biden’s agenda “a list of liberal waste bills” while senior Republican official Ronna McDaniel said her first 100 days were “unqualified failure”.

Despite limited democratic control of both houses, plans are facing a battle in Congress before it becomes law.

In a momentous time, US Vice President Kamala Harris – the first woman to hold office – and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi both sat behind Mr Biden during a speech Wednesday night. It is the first time two women have appeared behind the president during a speech to Parliament.

After addressing Ms Harris in her inaugural address as Vice President Madam, Mr Biden added, “No president has ever said those words from this forum. And it is only a matter of time.”

The event was much smaller than that of former presidents, because of restrictions imposed on the ongoing coronavirus epidemic.

National Security Forces continue to work near the Capitol after pro-Trump protesters stormed the building in January

What did Biden say?

The president said that by the time he took office in January he had inherited a “troubled nation”.

“The worst catastrophe in a century. The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War, ”he said.

“Now, after only 100 days, I can report to the nation: America is on its way again.”

Mr Biden cited the success of the vaccine – calling on all Americans who had not been tested “to get vaccinated” – and the growing economy.

But he insisted there was much more to do. With a strong estimate and limited democratic control of both houses, Mr. Biden presented his proposals – the American Employment Plan and the American Family Program – which the White House has said will be taxed for US corporations and the richest Americans.

“We have to make sure democracy is still working, that our government is still working, and can provide for the people,” he said.

Joe Biden elbows as he enters to deliver his first speech to a joint Congress session

Speaking directly to those who “feel left behind and forgotten” in the changing economy, he described the American Action Plan as a “blue plan to build America”. It will invest in public transportation, high-speed broadband, and roads and bridges.

He also stressed that the plan will be guided by the fight against climate change.

“When I think of climate change I think it works,” he said. “There is no reason why American workers cannot lead the world in the manufacture of electric vehicles and batteries.”

Mr Biden then spoke about the American Family Program, which aims to provide a free pre-school for children aged three to four, family vacation and medical treatment, and a free community university. It will also increase to 2025 the child tax debt that was extended during the tragedy, which Democrats reportedly expected to put in place as a permanent government initiative. The president said the tax debt “will help more than 65 million children and help reduce child poverty by half this year”.

He then turned to social issues – including gun violence, immigration, and racial equality.

“We have all seen the knee of oppression on the necks of black Americans,” he said, referring to the assassination of George Floyd, which sparked a global protest against police brutality and racism. “Now is the opportunity to make real progress.”

And he made these proposals and changes in negotiating foreign policy, saying America was “in competition with China and other countries to win the 21st century”, and called on politicians from all sides to support his plans and “heal the spirit of this nation”.

“We have looked into the abyss of rebellion and freedom of the people – of tragedy and pain – and ‘We the People’ have not shaken,” the president said.

“It has never been a good bet against America. And yet it is not. ”

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