Key moments from Biden’s joint session of Congress
President Joe Biden declared that ‘America is rising anew’ in his first major speech to Congress that focused on plans to boost the economy and addressed the climate crisis.
The president concentrated on the “crisis and opportunity” of his first 100 days in office and the next four years in rebuilding the country after the devastating Covid pandemic.
He outlined how The American Jobs Plan would spend massively on improving infrastructure, access to child care, affordable education, and high-speed broadband internet.
The president zeroed in on the climate change in particular and promised jobs from tackling the issue he described as a “global fight.”
He said: “For too long, we have failed to use the most important word when it comes to meeting the climate crisis. Jobs. Jobs. For me, when I think about climate change, I think jobs.”
He also outlined his gun control agenda to close loopholes and ban “ghost guns”, while he renewed a commitment to a $15 minimum wage and criminal justice reforms.
US nuclear research agency approves multibillion-dollar project
The US federal agency that oversees nuclear research and the manufacturing of bombs has approved the first design phase for a multibillion-dollar project.
The National Nuclear Security Administration in a decision announced on Wednesday stated that planning and construction could cost more than $4 billion initially – although it did not specify what this money would be spent on.
The Biden administration appears to be continuing the push to resume production of the nuclear triggers, with the nuclear agency stating that most of the plutonium cores in the stockpile date back to the 1970s and 1980s.
Democratic members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation have backed production at Los Alamos National Laboratory as thousands of jobs are at stake, but watchdogs say the production carries the risk of environmental contamination and safety breaches.
Clea Skopeliti29 April 2021 09:56
US medical supplies to reach India from Thursday
Medical supplies including oxygen sent by the US to India will begin arriving on Thursday after Joe Biden pledged to ramp up its assistance to the badly hit south Asian nation.
The White House promised to send more than $100m (£72m) in aid, including 1,000 oxygen cylinders, 15 million N95 masks and 1 million rapid diagnostic tests as India suffered its deadliest week so far in the coronavirus pandemic.
It comes as the US advises its citizens to leave India, with an alert on the US Embassy’s website warning that “access to all types of medical care is becoming severely limited in India due to the surge in Covid-19 cases”.
Clea Skopeliti29 April 2021 09:25
Climate crisis features as never before in President Biden’s first address to Congress
Joe Biden addressed the climate crisis as no president before him during his first address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday evening at the US Capitol.
The Independent’s senior climate correspondent Louis Boyle writes that Mr Biden dedicated a “significant chunk” of his speech to the environment and three times described global warming as a “crisis”.
Get all the details below…
Joe Middleton29 April 2021 08:57
Biden speech: How long was his joint address to Congress and how does it compare to previous years?
Maroosha Muzaffar delves into President Joe Biden’s first address to the joint session of Congress and sees how it compares to previous presidents. Get the details below.
Joe Middleton29 April 2021 08:44
Harris and Pelosi make history during Biden speech
Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made history as the first women to share the stage in Congress during a presidential address.
President Joe Biden noted the historic development at the very opening of his speech.
After taking the podium, Mr Biden greeted the two women standing behind him with a “Madam Speaker” and “Madam Vice President”.
He then declared: “No president has ever said those words – and it’s about time”.
Mr Biden delivered his first prime-time speech to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night flanked by Ms Pelosi and Ms Harris, two California Democrats.
Additional reporting by AP
Joe Middleton29 April 2021 08:22
Petition calls for Jill Biden to undo Melania Trump’s changes to White House Rose Garden
An online petition calling for America’s first lady DrJill Biden and second gentleman Doug Emhoff to undo Melania Trump’s changes to the White House Rose Garden has been signed by 40,000 people.
The petition on Change.org says: “In 2019, Melania Trump had the cherry trees, a gift from Japan, removed as well as the rest of the foliage and replaced with a boring tribute to herself.”
Joe Middleton29 April 2021 08:11
AOC and Ilhan Omar lead left-wing criticisms of Biden joint session speech
Democratic representatives Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Ilhan Omar took to Twitter as they led the left-wing criticism after the US president, Joe Biden, delivered his first speech to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday.
Namita Singh has the details
Joe Middleton29 April 2021 07:51
What Biden said vs what he really meant
Politicians often say one thing but mean something else entirely. President Biden is no different. To help translate the politi-speak, my colleague Andrew Feinberg breaks down what Biden said versus what the president really meant.
David Taintor29 April 2021 07:00
Biden and the ‘West Wing’ connection
Many viewers found something familiar about Biden’s pledge in the State of the Union address to “end cancer”, noting it was similar to a line from Obama’s last speech to the joint session of Congress in 2016.
But some are suggesting the comparisons go back further still – to a speech by one President Jed Bartlet.
Peony Hirwani has the full story:
Adam Withnall29 April 2021 06:48
Jill Biden wears same dress for joint address that she wore at inauguration
Jill Biden won fashion plaudits for wearing the same dress at Joe Biden’s speech to the joint session of Congress that she wore on inauguration night.
The first lady accompanied the president to the speech at the United States Capitol wearing a navy version of the cream Gabriela Hearst evening dress she wore after her husband entered the White House in January.
The dress by the Uruguayan designer, who uses pre-existing fabrics in her work, had floral embroidery, sheer overlay and a matching navy mask.
Justin vallejo29 April 2021 05:30