President Joe Biden set out on Thursday and traveled to Georgia to promote his broad economic proposals in his first address to a joint congressional session the day after the inauguration of massive new government programs.
At his first tour stop, a drive-in rally in Duluth, Biden highlighted the successes of the first 100 days of his government and touted his next legislative push, which will focus on infrastructure and the care industry.
“As much as we’ve done, we’ve got a lot more to do. And that’s why I proposed the American Jobs Plan. It’s a one-time investment in America, ”he told the rally goers. “It’s the largest employment plan in this country since World War II.”
Biden also referred to his American employment plan as an opportunity to “create justice across the board”.
The trip was part of what White House officials called “Getting America Back on Track,” and comes when the White House completes the approximately $ 2 trillion infrastructure and employment plan and a $ 1 billion plan , Drives $ 8 trillion for children and families. The rally took place in the state that gave the Democrats control of the Senate and made the president’s legislative priorities a reality. Biden was also the first Democrat in decades to win Georgia’s presidential election.
In his most overt political remarks since taking office, Biden thanked early supporters of the state and credited Georgia’s newly elected Democratic Senators with the narrow passage of the American rescue plan, Biden’s coronavirus aid package, which went into effect in March.
“The American rescue plan would not have passed. So much we’ve done like getting people’s checks probably wouldn’t have happened. If you ever wonder if elections make a difference, think about what you did here in Georgia when you voted (Jon) Ossoff and (Raphael) Warnock. They have started to change this environment, ”said Biden.
He also praised proxy and former Georgian gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.
“I want to thank you, Stacey, for empowering people to vote and have their voices heard,” said Biden.
His remarks were interrupted by protesters who urged him to end private detention centers and prompted him to say he was “working on it”.
“I’ll agree with you. But I’m working on it, man. Give me five more days,” Biden said.
“There should be no private prisons – private detention centers,” added the president. “I promise you.”
He also told rallyers that the conviction of former police officer Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd “provides an opportunity to make real progress in restoring the soul of this country.”
“We can carry out a rational police reform. We can root out systemic racism in our criminal justice system, ”said Biden.
Later that day, he left the state and called on Congress to take measures to ensure gun safety. After a successful climate summit in the White House last week, he rejected the idea of a weapons summit.
“I think there are certain things that have already been passed in the house. You should take care of it, ”Biden told reporters who had gathered on the tarmac when asked if he would consider holding a gun summit. “It’s time for Congress to step up.”
The first stop on the President and First Lady’s Georgia trip was in Plains to visit former President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter. The Carters couldn’t attend Biden’s inauguration, and this was the first time Biden had met with Carter since he became president.
On Wednesday evening before Congress, Biden put forward the second component of his roughly $ 4 trillion plan to help the country’s economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic. The American Families Plan is a large-scale investment in education, childcare, and paid family vacations. The proposal would also expand or permanently improve some key tax credits that were included in the $ 1.9 trillion Covid-19 bailout bill that Biden signed into law last month.
His American employment plan would invest heavily in the country’s crumbling infrastructure over the next eight years, creating jobs and converting the country to greener energy.
It’s unclear whether lawmakers will consider Biden’s two plans together or separately. It’s also unclear whether the Democrats will try to pass the legislation the same way they did Biden’s Covid-19 Relief Bill, which had no Republican support.
Biden has stated that he is ready to listen to the ideas behind the proposals and negotiate how to pay for them. In two weeks’ time, Biden will be receiving House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer along with her Republican counterparts – Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy – at the White House for the To discuss suggestions. It will be Biden’s first meeting with the bipartisan congressional leadership since taking office.
Biden left Georgia Thursday night and said he had “a good conversation” with West Virginia GOP Senator Shelley Moore Capito, who tweeted they had received a “constructive and substantive call” on infrastructure.
“I invited her to come to the White House with someone she’d like to bring,” Biden told reporters. “She seemed very positive about wanting to do something and I’m interested to hear what you have to say.”
The president has already invited several lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to the White House to discuss infrastructure.
Biden was scheduled to host a Georgia political event last month to promote his Covid-19 relief effort. However, the event was postponed after a string of gunfights in the Atlanta area that killed eight people, including six Asian women. Instead, the president and vice president met with leading Asian Americans in the region and visited the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This story has been updated with Biden’s remarks in Georgia.