President Joe Biden has accepted House Speaker Nancy’s Pelosi’s’ invitation to deliver the annual State of the Union address to Congress on March 1 as she touted him for ‘guiding America out of crisis’ despite the ongoing COVID surge.
It would be Biden’s first State of the Union address, where he is expected to discuss the nation’s recovery efforts from the pandemic as well as his proposed $1.75 trillion Build Back Better bill, which has been put on hold after facing opposition from moderate Democrat Sen. Joe Machin.
In her letter inviting Biden to speak in the House chambers, Pelosi wrote: ‘Thank you for your bold vision and patriotic leadership which have guided America out of crisis and into an era of great progress, as we not only recover from the pandemic but Build Back Better!’
The address would be the first delivered to Congress since former President Donald Trump’s last State of the Union on February 4, 2020, before the pandemic swept across America.
Biden will likely discuss the successful passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which offered billions in grants for schools, governments and small businesses to aid in the COVID recovery efforts.
While Biden ramped up the nation’s COVID response, the pandemic has seen a recent stunning surge caused by the Omicron variant.
The US has seen more than 59 million confirmed cases and more than 836,000 deaths since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins University.
On Friday, the nation reported 900,832 new cases and 2,615 deaths. About 63 percent of those eligible have been fully vaccinated, and more than 78 per cent have gotten at least one jab.
Biden is also likely to discuss his Build Back Better bill social spending bill, which he announced Wednesday was in a ‘cooling off period’ after it was shut down by Machin, who said there were ‘no negotiations going on at this time.’
Manchin said in December that he could not support the bill, stunning his colleagues and the White House who saw months of negotiations over the social reform and climate change package suddenly implode.
He cited his long-held concerns over how the $1.75 trillion measure would impact inflation, which hit a 40-year high last month after increasing by 6.8 percent year-over.
Biden had hoped to get the bill through Congress via a budget legislation process known as reconciliation, allowing it to bypass a certain GOP filibuster and pass with a simply majority vote.
With a 50-50 split in the Senate and no Republican support, the package needs the support of every Democrat in the chamber for any hope of passage.
But Manchin told reporters on Tuesday that he could not support such a ‘divisive’ bill — despite acknowledging the ‘well-intended’ nature of some of its programs.
‘There’s an awful lot of things that had a lot of a lot of things that were very I think well-intended. And there was a lot of things that was pretty far reach on some things and most delicate times that we have right now,’ the senator explained.
‘And our country’s divided. And I don’t tend to do anything that divides our country any more.’
Earlier that day, it was reported that Manchin was willing to return to the table on Build Back Better talks – provided Biden’s expanded child tax credit was pulled out.
Source: Thanks msn.com