What Joe Biden said in his first speech to Congress

What Joe Biden said in his first speech to Congress

“Labor” and “taxes” were the most used words by the President of the United States during his speech, with 43 and 20 appearances respectively. Biden then talked about the pandemic, vaccines and the challenge with China

(photo: Tom Brenner / Getty Images) In his first speech before Congress, during which he presented a new 1.8 trillion state investment plan dollars, US President Joe Biden spoke at length about work and taxes, addressing the middle and working class directly. The other key issues were the coronavirus, the fight against racism and foreign policy, especially with respect to the global challenges posed by China. Furthermore, it was the first time in US history that two women, Kamala Harris and Nancy Pelosi, found themselves sitting behind the president, in the roles of vice president and speaker of the House.

Investment Plan

Biden announced new investments in education, childcare and support for low- and middle-income families. These also include 200 billion dedicated to universal and free nursery school and 109 billion to guarantee university access regardless of income. With these new proposals, added to the other infrastructure investments approved in March, the state intervention proposed by Biden will reach 4 trillion dollars. A record investment in US history and one that Republicans have repeatedly accused of being "socialist", as reported by the Reuters news agency. In fact, although Biden has presented himself as a unitary president, he is not totally succeeding in getting the two US political parties to collaborate. As evidenced by the approval of the $ 1.9 trillion economic stimulus plan to combat the pandemic, approved without a single Republican vote in favor.

Labor and taxes

Labor and taxes were at the center of all of Biden's speech. Two words that the president said 43 and 20 times respectively. At every point in the investment plan's explanation, from creating new infrastructure to new welfare services, Biden stressed that these actions will create millions of new jobs. Also referring to the fight against climate change, he used the lever of work to support his speech. "When I think about climate change I think about work" he said "there is no reason why wind turbine components should be produced in Beijin and not in Pittsburgh".

Alongside the desire to create jobs for the lower classes, Biden argued that the wealthy part of the United States "pay their share". "I will not increase the tax burden on the middle class," he said, "but I will make sure that the top 1% pay their share. Bringing the income taxes of those who earn more than $ 400,000 a year back to 39.60% ". He then added, addressing the Republicans "as when George W. Bush was president".


Speaking of the pandemic situation, Biden stressed the acceleration of the US vaccination campaign, promising 200 million vaccinations in 100 days. He then used the occasion to call for action by Congress against racism, pushing for the approval of a law to punish acts of hatred and violence against people of Asian descent. In addition, Biden stressed that the pandemic situation is closely linked to international relations, comparing US vaccine stocks to the US military arsenal during World War II. "We will become a vaccine arsenal for other countries of the world" he said "just as the United States was the arsenal of democracies during World War II".

Foreign policy

On foreign policy, Biden then insisted a lot on competition with China. Often using it as an example or yardstick and as a lever to call the Republicans to unity. "China and other countries are fast approaching," he said, specifying that he had had numerous talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping. “He is serious about making China the most influential and important nation in the world,” he added referring to Xi, “he and the other autocrats think that democracy cannot compete against autocracies in the 21st century. But we will prove that democracy works ".


Finally Biden underlined his commitment to fight racism and violence against African American people, calling white suprematism the" most serious domestic terrorist threat of the United States ”.

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