News Update

The President is looking to use the goodwill he's gained from his Covid-19 response to persuade voters to join him in his effort to reshape the nation's infrastructure

Biden will mark the accomplishments of his first 100 days in a strong position despite the deeply polarized nature of the American electorate after four chaotic and tumultuous years under former President Donald Trump. A new CNN poll released Wednesday showed that 53% of Americans approve of the way Biden is doing his job, and nearly 6 in 10 Americans believe that he is keeping his campaign promises.
In his remarks, Biden plans to remind his audience of the crises he inherited — from the once-in-a-lifetime pandemic to the failed insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, which was fomented by his predecessor.
“Now — after just 100 days — I can report to the nation: America is on the move again,” Biden plans to say, according to excerpts of his speech prepared for delivery. “Turning peril into possibility. Crisis into opportunity. Setback into strength.”
Biden to deliver first joint address to CongressBiden to deliver first joint address to Congress
He has been bolstered by voters’ perceptions of efforts to ease the nation out of the upheaval and economic strife caused by the coronavirus pandemic, with some 66% of Americans approving his handling of the crisis as he looks to highlight his team’s accomplishments in administering 200 million shots in less than 100 days and the number of Covid-19 cases and deaths continues to drop.
The President is looking to use that goodwill to persuade voters to join him in his effort to reshape the economic fortunes of working- and middle-class Americans through a massive $4 trillion proposal to both repair the nation’s roads, bridges and railroads and expand broadband, while directing $1.8 trillion toward the “American Families Plan” that he will outline Wednesday night.
A senior administration official said the proposal — a combination of about $1 trillion in investments and $800 billion in tax credits — amounted to “generational investments” in the future. The President will argue Wednesday night that it will benefit families across America by helping with child care costs and family leave and by providing free community college for two years, in a proposal that would require states to pick up some of the costs.
The President plans to introduce his new plan as a “blue-collar blueprint to build America” and speak directly to Americans who “feel left behind and forgotten in an economy that’s rapidly changing.” He will emphasize that 90% of the infrastructure jobs that would be created through his plan don’t require a college degree.
CNN Poll: Majority of Americans approve of Biden and his priorities in first 100 daysCNN Poll: Majority of Americans approve of Biden and his priorities in first 100 days
One huge focus of the package is improving the care of the elderly and people with disabilities, in part by raising the salaries of the workers who take care of those Americans. Biden will finance the package by raising taxes on the rich, in keeping with his campaign promise not to raise taxes on any family making less than $400,000 a year. But there are steep hurdles ahead for his plan. Republicans and even some moderate Democrats have balked at its cost, and Biden has yet to show that he can build bipartisan consensus on his legislative priorities as he promised during the 2020 campaign.
West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat who has been the chamber’s key swing vote, told CNN’s Manu Raju on Wednesday that he was “very uncomfortable” with the price of Biden’s proposals, but said that he had yet to review them in detail.
In a prebuttal to the President’s speech, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Biden had pledged bipartisanship during his campaign but has instead pushed a progressive agenda.
“The American people elected a 50-50 Senate, a closely divided House and a President who preached moderation,” the Kentucky Republican said on the Senate floor Wednesday morning. “He promised that his whole soul was committed to uniting our people. Many hoped his administration would reflect that promise, but the first hundred days have left much to be desired.”
Here's what's in Biden's $1.8 trillion American Families PlanHere's what's in Biden's $1.8 trillion American Families Plan
While the new package will be a focus of the speech Wednesday night, Biden will also address the many challenges that lie ahead as the nation tries to eradicate the pandemic.
The pace of vaccinations has slowed considerably, with supply outstripping demand, particularly in rural and conservative counties that Trump won in 2020. Scientists say between 70% and 85% of Americans will need to be vaccinated in order for the nation to achieve herd immunity and prevent dangerous coronavirus variants from spreading in the months ahead. But polls have shown persistent resistance and uninterest in getting the vaccine among a high number of Republicans.
One of Biden’s most difficult tasks in the months ahead will be to persuade those people who did not vote for him to get the vaccine — or to find the right messengers to help convince them. About 43% of the population has now received at least one dose of vaccine, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and nearly 30% is fully vaccinated.
Alluding to how Americans’ faith in government was shaken during Trump’s tenure and the election that ousted him, Biden will say that in the first 100 days his administration has acted to “restore the people’s faith in democracy to deliver.”
“We’re vaccinating the nation. We’re creating hundreds of thousands of jobs,” Biden plans to say. “We’re delivering real results people can see and feel in their own lives.”
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