President Biden’s first address to a joint session of Congress struck an intimate tone.
Key moments from President Joe Biden’s Wednesday, April 28, 2021 address.
As soon as he took to the podium, Biden acknowledged Kamala Harris, stood behind him, as “Madam vice-president,” and then reflected: “No president has ever said these words from behind this podium. And it’s about time.”
For the first time in US history, two women were seated behind the president. Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker and the third person in the chain of command, after Biden and Harris, also flanked Biden.
Just one day shy of his 100th day in office, Biden used the speech to update Americans on his administration’s promises and plans.
“Our government still works – and can deliver for the people,” Biden said.
The president introduced his sweeping $1.8tn plan, which would invest billions in a national childcare program, universal preschool, tuition-free community college, health insurance subsidies and tax cuts for low- and middle-income workers.
The vision would be funded by rolling back Trump-era tax cuts, raising the capital gains rate for millionaires and billionaires, and closing tax loopholes for the wealthy.
“Trickle-down economics has never worked. It’s time to grow the economy from the bottom up and middle out,” Biden said. “We’re going reform corporate taxes so they pay their fair share – and help pay for the public investments their businesses will benefit from.”
Biden also proposed major reforms to gun control and policing, and made a major pitch to protect voting rights.
About 200 members of Congress, the military, and Biden’s cabinet were in attendance. Attendance was severely limited due to Covid restrictions.