Mask guidance ‘great reason’ to get vaccine, says Biden.mp4
Joe Biden will tonight give his first major speech to Congress, focusing on American families, a tax rise for the rich and the coronavirus rescue plan.
The prime-time address, which is scheduled for 9pm ET (12am GMT), will be historic because it will be the first joint Congress address delivered by a president standing in front of two women. Vice president Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be sat in the two chairs behind him.
The bulk of Mr Biden’s remarks will concern the American Families Plan, with more details about it to be released ahead of the speech.
Under the initiative, the Biden administration will reportedly use money generated by an increase in capital gains tax to fund childcare costs and make pre-school free for all Americans.
The president’s address will also touch on coronavirus, police reform, immigration and gun safety, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
“The president has been working on this speech for the last few weeks,” she said. “He’s been line editing it, meeting with his speechwriters, getting advice and counsel from senior advisers, checking in with members of his family.”
How Biden’s speech will make history
Joe Biden’s joint Congress address will make history, as two women will be sat in the most important seats in the room for the first time.
As is customary, the vice president and the House Speaker will watch from their seats behind the president’s podium.
In a first for the US, the politicians who will occupy these seats are both women: Kamala Harris and Nancy Pelosi.
Rory Sullivan28 April 2021 12:38
Immigration groups launch $50m citizenship campaign
A coalition of immigration advocacy groups is launching a $50-million campaign to convince politicians to pass a new citizenship law.
Lorella Praeli, the leader of Community Change Action, said the effort aims to ensure that the Democrats “actually deliver concrete change in people’s lives”.
“People can no longer wait. And people are not going to absolve either party from delivering in this moment,” she added.
The initiative starts with a $1.5 million ad campaign across five states and Washington D.C, which begins this weekend.
Rory Sullivan28 April 2021 12:18
How to watch Biden’s speech
The US president’s prime-time address will start at 9pm ET (12am GMT) and will be streamed across all the major US news networks, including CNN and ABC News.
It will be shown live on The Independent, with a dedicated page for the event.
Rory Sullivan28 April 2021 11:55
Biden administration’s family plan includes free meals for millions of children
The Biden administration wants Congress to spend $45 billion on free school meals for millions of children from low-income families across the US.
The proposal comes in the American Families Plan, as part of a raft of anti-poverty measures.
More than 5 milion children lived in food-insecure households in 2019, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
Rory Sullivan28 April 2021 11:35
Biden’s first 100 days
In his first 98 days as president, Joe Biden has overseen the country’s mass vaccine rollout which has administered 230 million doses so far.
James Crump has this and other figures from the opening months of his presidency:
Rory Sullivan28 April 2021 11:14
Speech will have ‘different dynamic’ due to Covid restrictions, says Pelosi
Due to the pandemic, only 200 people will be allowed to attend Joe Biden’s joint Congress speech today – instead of the usual 1,600.
The attendees will mainly be lawmakers plus some government representatives and a few family members.
Speaking about the event, House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi said: “It will be its own character, it will be its own wonderful character. We went from 1,600 people to 200 people. That is a different dynamic, but it has its own worth.”
Rory Sullivan28 April 2021 10:53
Biden proposes ‘transformational’ family plan
The Biden’s administration’s $1.8-trillion American Family Plan will be the central topic in the president’s joint Congress speech on Wednesday.
Senior White House officials said the 10-year plan offers “transformational investments” so “all children and young people are able to learn and grow and gain the skills they need”.
Rory Sullivan28 April 2021 10:32
What is the difference between a State of the Union and joint address?
The president’s speech later today will not be an official State of the Union address but it will be similar.
My colleague Gino Spocchia examines the differences between the two types of address:
Rory Sullivan28 April 2021 10:12
What we know about Biden’s address to Congress
Joe Biden will deliver his first major speech to Congress this evening, almost 100 days after his inauguration.
But what do we know about the content of his address? And who will attend the event?
Alex Woodward has the answers:
Rory Sullivan28 April 2021 09:51
Good morning, and welcome to The Independent’s rolling US politics coverage.
Rory Sullivan28 April 2021 09:46