4 Key Takeaways from President Biden's Speech before Congress
President Joe Biden proposed a new $1.8 trillion plan in his first speech before the joint Congress on Wednesday.
The president asked his critics and Republican members of Congress to help him pass a range of legislation in the country.
Here are four key takeaways from Biden's speech:
During his speech, Biden called the issue of gun violence an American problem and not a political issue. He asked Republican members of Congress to help him pass legislation that would strengthen gun control.
"I don't want to become confrontational, but we need more Senate Republicans to join with the overwhelming majority of their Democratic colleagues, and close loopholes and require background checks to purchase a gun," he said.
Biden also proposed a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. He also asked Congress to consider reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, which helps prevent abusers from buying firearms.
Biden also asked Congress to consider passing an immigration reform bill in response to what many have called "a crisis at the border" because of the influx of immigrants arriving. He said the country needs "immigration reform."
"If you believe we need a secure border — pass it," Biden said. "If you believe in a pathway to citizenship — pass it."
The proposal would allow some undocumented immigrants already in the country to apply for legal status. The bill would also increase aid to Central America and reframe border control measures.
"If you don't like my plan, let's at least pass what we all agree on. Congress needs to pass legislation this year to finally secure citizenship for Dreamers," Mr. Biden said, referring to migrants who came to the country as children.
Also notably, Biden proposed $1 trillion in spending on education and childcare over 10 years and some $800 billion in tax credits for middle and low-income families. About $200 billion would be earmarked for free, universal preschool, and $109 billion would be used to provide free community college education.
The trillion-dollar spending initiative is called the American Families Plan and could "represent the most significant government transformation of the economy in decades," Reuters reported.
Biden says he would pay for the proposal by changing the tax system and by raising the top marginal tax rate for wealthy Americans. He has also said he would like to double taxes on investment income, commonly known as capital gains, for people who earn more than $1 million.
A Call for Unity
While former President Donald Trump's exit from the White House solidified a deep divide in partisanship, Biden said in his speech to Congress that he hopes Republicans and Democrats can work together.
"We have stared into an abyss of insurrection and autocracy - of pandemic and pain - and 'we the people' did not flinch," he said. "At the very moment our adversaries were certain we would pull apart and fail, we came together - united.
"Tonight, I come to talk about crisis - and opportunity," he said. "About rebuilding our nation - and revitalizing our democracy. And winning the future for America."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Pool
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.