President Joe Biden highlighted a bold and progressive policy agenda on Wednesday during his first address before a joint session of Congress. Biden spent most of his time pitching his economic vision for America, which includes direct aid for child care, universal preschool, two years of tuition-free community college, and other policies meant to target income inequality in America. He says he will pay for it by making the most wealthy Americans pay their fair share in taxes without increasing the national deficit.
“It was alternately kind of optimistic about the future but talked about a lot about the problems that exist in the United States that he hopes to change.” —Matt Viser, Washington Post
The speech came two days before the end of Biden’s first 100 days in office. Biden made many promises during his presidential campaign about what he’d accomplish during these first three months.
Listen: Washington Post White House reporter Matt Viser breaks down Biden’s speech and first 100 days in office.
Matt Viser is a White House reporter for the Washington Post. He says the speech was designed to paint a positive outlook for the future of the country, while also highlighting some serious challenges ahead.
“It was alternately kind of optimistic about the future but talked about a lot about the problems that exist in the United States that he hopes to change,” says Viser.
Biden did not shy away from talking about race and racism during the speech. “White supremacy is terrorism,” he told members of Congress.
“The setting of a joint address to Congress referring to the racial aspects of our country in that way was striking,” says Viser. ”And I think it’s also striking given the context for President Trump …His rhetoric was sometimes a wink and a nod to white supremacy.”