County party officials share thoughts on Biden’s Joint Address to Congress
President Joe Biden’s Joint Address to Congress Wednesday night drew fairly predictable reactions from the Democratic and Republican parties, as he called for unity and cooperation of the two sides.
Mr. Biden outlined his sweeping $1.8 trillion plan for American families, took a victory lap for the 220 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in his first 100 days in office, and pushed Congress to pass legislation such as his American Jobs Plan, legislation raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and police reform and gun control legislation.
“I would like to meet with those who have ideas that are different, that they think are better. I welcome those ideas,” President Biden said Wednesday night from the U.S. Capitol. “But the rest of the world is not waiting for us. I just want to be clear: from my perspective, doing nothing is not an option. Look, we can’t be so busy competing with one another that we forget the competition that we have with the rest of the world to win the 21st century.”
Republican Sen. Tim Scott delivered a rebuttal to the president’s speech afterward, and said that 100 days into his presidency, “the actions of the president and his party are pulling us further and further apart.”
Many of his comments alleged that the Democrats’ legislation, including the American Rescue Plan, American Jobs Plan and the new American Families Plan, are “partisan wish lists” that only give a small percentage of money to what the bill aims to address.
Regarding the infrastructure plan, Sen. Scott said, “It’s a liberal wish list of big-government waste, plus the biggest job-killing tax hikes in a generation. Experts say, when all is said and done, it would lower wages of the average American worker and shrink our economy.”
In closing, the senator said, “Our best future won’t come from Washington schemes or socialist dreams. It will come from you, the American people. Black, Hispanic, white and Asian. Republican and Democrat. Brave police officers and black neighborhoods. We are not adversaries. We are family. We are all in this together.”
While many Republicans echo the sentiment that the bills will detriment the economy and impact the middle class, Democrats praise the bills as once-in-a-generation investments into America.
“Right here in California, our stimulus programs have provided tax relief for small businesses and money in pockets for struggling families, and we’ve expanded child care and made community college free,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement Wednesday following the president’s address. “These strategic investments, which are complemented by President Biden’s American Families Plan, will bolster California’s equitable economic recovery and bring us roaring back.”
Darcel Elliott, the County Democratic Chair, told the News-Press that she admired the “poise and clarity” the president spoke with in his address.
“He laid out a clear, actionable plan to get our economy working again as we emerge from this pandemic,” she said. “While working families and small businesses have struggled during this pandemic, billionaires have gotten $4 trillion richer. President Biden’s plan delivers permanent tax cuts for working families, and targets the wealthiest 1% to pay for long overdue investments in infrastructure, education and child care, and growing our economy.”
Ms. Elliott also applauded the president’s delivery of more than 220 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in his first 100 days, exceeding his promise by more than 20 million doses, “and half of Americans have received at least their first vaccination.”
“His stimulus plan delivered money to the pockets of working families, and made important investments to prevent further economic depression,” she said. “It’s clear that we need Republicans and Democrats in Congress to work with President Biden to pass this jobs plan to get our economy working again.”
On the other side of the aisle, Bobbi McGinnis, the County Republican Chair, said that her general reaction to the speech was: “that President Biden is the most dishonest president we’ve ever had.”
“He presented himself in a mild manner as a moderate Democrat, and he is proposing the most radical, left agenda ever,” she told the News-Press. “When the government gives away free stuff, it’s at a cost. It enslaves all of us. What he talked about in his family plan all sounds so wonderful to have all this free stuff, but there’s nothing that free.”
Ms. McGinnis listed concerns with the president’s proposed tax increases, calling them “disastrous for the free market system.” She said that corporations will leave the country, “just like what’s happening here in California,” and that President Biden is “pushing out investors, homeowners and the everyday citizen.”
“We’re still in the Trump economy — please have me going on record saying that. We are still in the Trump economy,” she said.
The Republican Chair added that she believes “there’s not enough rich people or corporations in America to pay for the taxes that he’s presenting here” and that “it’s going to fall on the backs of the middle class and the working people of America.”
“The reason Joe Biden is so frightening is that he presents a kind, Uncle Joe demeanor, but behind it is radical socialism,” Ms. McGinnis said. “It’s essentially government taking over our economy — every aspect of our economy — and that frightens me.”