MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - President Joe Biden will deliver his first address before a joint session of Congress Wednesday night.
The president will also unveil another major spending plan, the $1.8 trillion American Families Plan.
It will be the president’s third major spending plan since taking office. Combined, his three plans, the American Rescue Plan, the American Jobs Plan, and now the American Families Plan, total nearly $6 trillion.
That would be enough to give every Memphian over $9,000,000.
The American Families Plan includes massive investments in childcare, education, and safety net programs.
WMC Political Analyst Mike Nelson says with Democrats holding a slim majority in both chambers, the president is wasting no time.
“I think his idea is to get as many things through on as big a scale as possible during this current year,” said Nelson.
The president’s plan includes making two years of community college tuition free, expanding pre-K, increasing Pell grants, and other funding to help students pay for college.
It calls for 12 weeks of paid leave for workers, major investments to help families pay for child care, and would expand summer and school meal programs.
The White House calls it a once in a generation investment.
“It will be a plan to provide critical support to children and families and by doing so, critical support for our economy,” said Brian Deese, director of the National Economic Council.
Republicans say Biden’s spending will lead to higher taxes and hurt the economy.
Arkansas Senator John Boozman, a Republican, says he wants more bipartisanship.
“What I’d like for us to focus on is things that we can get done together and try to reach some agreement, and I think we can do that,” said Boozman.
Arkansas Congressman Rick Crawford, who’s also a Republican, says he’ll be watching to see if the president addresses other important issues.
“We have some concerns about a lot of different issues, ranging from immigration to energy and a variety of other issues. So, hopefully he’ll be able to provide some clarity for his motivation,” said Crawford.
Because of the pandemic, only a limited number of people will be in attendance for the president’s address Wednesday night.
For the first time in history, two women, Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, will be seated behind the president.
South Carolina Senator Tim Scott will deliver the official Republican response after Biden’s address.