President Biden, in his first address to a joint session of Congress Wednesday night, laid out his vision for America, through a slew of policy proposals and a legislative wish list, while vowing to work with both Republicans and Democrats to deliver on his agenda.
Biden delivered his address, which lasted just over an hour, from the House chamber Wednesday night, outlining proposals from continuing to address the coronavirus pandemic, to his jobs package, to universal preschool, healthcare, immigration reform, gun control, foreign policy and more.
“My fellow Americans, while the setting tonight is familiar, this gathering is just a little bit different. A reminder of the extraordinary times we’re in,” Biden said upon taking the podium.
Typically, there are approximately 1,600 people at a presidential address of this kind, but due to social distancing requirements amid the coronavirus pandemic, only approximately 200 guests were in attendance, including 80 House members and 60 senators.
“Throughout our history, presidents have come to this chamber to speak to Congress, to the nation and to the world, to declare war, to celebrate peace, to announce new plans, and possibilities,” Biden said. “Tonight, I come to talk about crisis and opportunity– about rebuilding the nation, revitalizing our democracy, and winning the future for America.”
“As I stand here tonight, we are just one day shy of the 100th day of my administration. 100 days since I took the oath of office—lifted my hand off our family Bible—and inherited a nation—we all did—that was in crisis,” Biden said, pointing to the coronavirus pandemic, the economic downfall brought on by the pandemic, and the assault on the Capitol on Jan. 6, which he described as “the worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War.”
“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,” he said.
Biden, touting his first 100 days in office, said his administration has “acted to restore the people’s faith in our democracy to deliver.”
The president applauded Congress for passing the American Rescue Plan, which he called one of the “most consequential” plans in “history,” saying the $1,400 stimulus checks are “making a difference” for families across the country.
“We’re already seeing the results,” Biden said, noting that the U.S. is on record to cut child poverty in the country “in half this year” thanks to the package, and said the economy “created more than 1.3 new jobs in 100 days.”
“More jobs in the first 100 days than any president on record,” Biden said.
Biden exceeded his goal of administering 200 million COVID-19 vaccines before his 100th day in office. In December, he initially set a goal to get 100 million shots to Americans by his 100th day in office, which the administration met by his 58th day in office in mid-March.
“We will have provided over 220 million COVID shots in 100 days—thanks to the help of all of you,” Biden said, noting that the administration is “marshaling every federal resource” to get vaccines to more than 40,000 pharmacies, to setting up community vaccination sites.
Biden, from the podium, urged all Americans over the age of 16 to get vaccinated “right now, right away.”
“Go get vaccinated, America. Go and get the vaccination,” Biden said, noting that the “progress” related to the coronavirus pandemic in the first 100 days of his administration “has been one of the greatest logistical achievements this country’s ever seen.”
The president went on to detail his $1.9 trillion American Jobs Plan—his proposal to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure and pump money into manufacturing, transportation, renewable energy and combating climate change—saying it “will add millions of jobs and trillions of dollars in economic growth for years to come.”