Biden spent most of his brief comments promoting his spending plans, which would include a universal preschool garden, free community college, 12 weeks of paid family vacation, and millions of “high-paying jobs.”
“In the 21st century, the infrastructure is not just made of steel and concrete. They’re people, ”said Biden, who took off his mask to speak. “It’s a one-time investment in America.”
Republicans have opposed the two proposals: the American Jobs Plan, a major $ 2.3 trillion package to repair the country’s crumbling roads and bridges, create jobs, and combat climate change; and the American Families Plan, a $ 1.8 trillion plan to fund Democratic priorities including billions of dollars in childcare, preschool, paid family vacations, and non-tuition community college. He would pay for the packages by raising taxes on wealthy Americans and businesses.
“The middle class and working people in this country already pay enough taxes,” he said. “It is time for the richest 1 percent of Americans and businesses in America to do their part.”
Republicans have opposed Biden’s two major spending plans, raising concerns about price tags, proposed tax increases for wealthy Americans and businesses, and the intergenerational historical expansion of the social safety net.
Some Democrats have suggested they want to continue with what they can happen without Republican support, but the White House says it is trying to work with Republicans. According to Biden aides, the president hopes to make progress on both spending bills by Memorial Day and get them signed into law this summer. Spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi has suggested that the House could vote on at least one vote by July 4th.
Biden flew to Georgia after his first address to Congress on Wednesday, just a day before his 100th day in office trying to get vaccinations for Americans.
It was his second visit to Georgia, the state that gave the Democrats the closest majority in the Senate. Just six weeks ago, Congress passed the US bailout plan that sent $ 1,400 checks to Americans, increased unemployment benefits, and pumped billions of dollars into vaccine distribution and reopening schools. It passed without Republican support.
“We are especially grateful to the people of Georgia. Because of you, the rest of America could get help, ”Biden said. “If you ever wonder if elections make a difference, think about what you did here in Georgia. … you changed America. ”
Biden’s first visit to promote coronavirus recovery law was hastily changed after a string of gunfights at spas in the Atlanta area that killed eight people, including six Asian women. Thursday’s visit comes after the state’s controversial electoral law has been passed, which Biden has called “Jim Crow in the 21st century” and a “blatant attack on the Constitution.”
At the auto rally, Biden saluted Stacey Abrams, the former Democratic gubernatorial candidate, who said, “Could be anything she wants of anything she elects to be president.” He also touched on a variety of topics including climate change, police reform and voting rights.
Shortly before he began his remarks, Biden was interrupted by a group of demonstrators shouting “Abolish ICE” and “End detention now”. One shouted: “We voted for you too.” “Our families are dying,” said another.
“I agree with you, I’m working on it man give me five more days,” replied Biden. “Guys, you all know what they’re talking about. There shouldn’t be a private prison term. Private prisons. They shouldn’t exist. And we’re working to close them all down.”
Biden was joined by First Lady Jill Biden, who introduced her husband. “In some ways it’s hard to believe it’s only 100 days,” she said. “Back in DC we’re still getting to know our new home and finding out where the light switches are.”
Before the rally, the Bidens met with former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn at their home in Plains, Ga.
96-year-old Carter did not travel to Washington to attend Biden’s inauguration in January because of the pandemic, despite the fact that the two had spoken by phone the night before.
“Joe Biden was the first US Senator to support then-former Governor Carter when he ran for president,” assistant secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One. “So you have a longstanding relationship that lasts a few decades.”
Benjamin Din contributed to this report.