President Joe Biden laid out plans on the return to normal during his first address to Congress Wednesday. He also outlined some key policy issues he’s pushing that could have big implications for the Silicon Valley -- all while Bay Area lawmakers made history.
"Now after 100 days I can report to the nation that America is on the move again,” the president said.
And for the first time in history there were two women standing behind a president during a congressional address -- Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, both from the Bay Area.
The president addressed COVID-19 accomplishments, sayin 90% of America lives within five miles of a vaccination site.
He added that he’s pushing Congress to pass his new $1.8 trillion American Families Plan that would ensure free Pre-K for all 3- and 4-year-olds and two years of free community college.
Quoting the first lady – on it’s importance.
“If I've heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times, ‘joe, any country that out-educates us, is going to out-compete us.’ She’ll be deeply involved leading this effort,” said Biden.
To pay for it, he’d hike taxes over 10 years on the wealthy, with a promise of no tax increase for anyone making under $400,000.
“It's time for corporate America and the wealthiest 1% of Americans to just pay their fair share. Just their fair share,” he said.
The president also spoke out about the state of racial justice, urging Congress to pass a federal policing act named after George Floyd
"We have all seen the knee of injustice on the neck of Black America. Now is our opportunity to make real progress,” he said.
In attendance was East Bay Congresswoman Barbara Lee.
“President Biden tonight talked about the poor, he talked about low-income people, and talked about fighting for working men and women, talked about good paying union jobs, and he covered a lot of territory I think progressives can be pleased about,” she said.
And in the Republican response, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott argues America should thank his predecessor for the COVID response.
“This administration inherited a tide that had already turned, the coronavirus is on the run thanks to operation warp speed and the Trump administration our country is flooded with safe and effective vaccines,” he said.