Biden’s ‘infrastructure’ plan to be rolled out in speech to Congress

Published: Apr. 28, 2021 at 2:33 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - We are just a few hours away from President Joe Biden’s first speech to a Joint Session of Congress.

For the first time in history, a president addressing Congress will be flanked by two women -- Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The House chamber will look different in other ways. Because of COVID protocols, not every lawmaker was invited. Only about 200 people will attend. And there will be no civilian guests.

“So, it will be a very different feeling. Look, this is a pandemic. We’re dealing with the pandemic while 200 million doses have been administered,” White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told the Gray Television Washington News Bureau.

A major part of the speech will be outlining the American Families Plan. That’s the next phase of the administration’s infrastructure reinvestment. A $1.8 trillion spending plan that includes universal Pre-K, two free years of community college, and tax credits.

“That’s going to be an investment in people, if you will — investment in families, kids, grandkids,” said Jean-Pierre.

Lawmakers are split on what infrastructure investment should be.

“The economic hit [of the pandemic] has been the tune of trillions of dollars -- much more than we’re investing back in,” said Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.). “We can’t afford not to be investing in this.”

“We should be targeted and focused in making sure we’re properly investing in America’s aging infrastructure, rather than using the infrastructure package as a vehicle for a liberal spending wishlist,” said Rep. Bryan Steil (R-Wis.)

There will be an official Republican response after the speech by Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.). He says he’ll share what he calls the GOP’s vision of “expanding opportunity and empowering working families.”

Multimedia Journalist Natalie Grim contributed to this report.

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