OnPolitics: ‘America is ready for a takeoff’
Happy almost Fri-yay, OnPolitics readers!
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will be celebrating 100 days in office visiting former President Jimmy Carter and his wife in Georgia.
Sounds… festive? But before we call it a weekend, let’s talk Biden’s first big speech – what was said, what wasn’t said and the big moments you may have missed.
It’s Mabinty. Let’s do this.
Here’s what the president said last night
In his speech Wednesday night, Biden both looked back on his first 100 days in office and laid out a vision for the future of his administration, from talking about increasing taxes on the rich, to urging Congress to take action on gun violence and police reform.
“America is on the move again” Biden said. “After 100 days of rescue and renewal, America is ready for a takeoff.”
A historic moment for women: Notice two women standing behind the president at previous speeches? No? That’s because it’s never happened before. In his opening remarks, Biden gave a nod to Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who were standing behind him. Harris is the first woman to be elected vice president and Pelosi became the first woman speaker in 2007.
Top flash-points Biden spoke about:
- Biden described the ongoing massive vaccination effort, and the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package Congress passed in March, as proof that government still works.
- He urged Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which aims to bolster police accountability and ban certain maneuvers that have led to the deaths of Black Americans.
- Biden also identified white supremacy as a domestic terror threat that the country must remain vigilant against.
- The president didn’t focus on the border challenges his administration faced Wednesday night. Instead, he focused on urging Congress to pass his comprehensive immigration legislation, which would create a pathway to citizenship for the nearly 11 million people living in the United States without citizenship.
How did the GOP react? Take a guess
GOP leaders denounced Biden’s plans to spend trillions on COVID-19 and economic relief, and to increase taxes on the wealthy to help pay for them. Republicans also hit Biden’s border policies and accused the new president of spending his first 100 days in thrall to the left wing of the Democratic Party.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., tweeted: “This whole thing could have just been an email.”
Is America a “racist country”?
Sen. Tim Scott defended the country’s record on race as one of opportunity and optimism in response to Biden. Scott didn’t downplay the country’s racial and ethnic differences, but said Democrats ignore the country’s strides over the past century for political and financial gain.”Hear me clearly,” he said. “America is not a racist country.”
Harris, the country’s first Black and first Indian American vice president, disagreed with some – but not all – of Scott’s statements. She said America is not a “racist country” but the nation must “speak the truth” about its history with racism on “Good Morning America” on Thursday.
Everything else that happened in Washington:
- How Biden pursued, and occasionally stumbled,in the 100-day effort to reopen schools
- Trump ally Sid Miller sues over Biden farm aid program, saying it is biased against whites
- Women underrepresented in municipal, state and national politics, new Rutgers study finds
Hope your weekend is amazing! — Mabinty
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