“On the move again.” Local leaders react to Pres. Biden’s first Congressional speech

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(WETM) – Biden said the U.S. is “on the move again” after struggling through a devastating pandemic that killed more than 570,000 Americans, disrupted the economy, and shook daily life. In his first Congressional address, President Biden outlined several major projects totaling six trillion dollars in spending. Today, Republicans are questioning: Who’s picking up the bill?

“It’s time for corporate America and the wealthiest one percent of Americans can just begin to pay their fair share,” President Biden said Wednesday night.

Congressman Fred Keller, representing Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District, says it is unclear what the “fair share” means.

“Who is the arbiter of who the fair suit what a fair share is?” Keller questioned.

The American Jobs Plan covers infrastructure at home, transportation, caretaking, and workforce development, placing an emphasis on new energy jobs.

The President ticked off details of his proposal for $2.3 trillion in spending to rebuild roads and bridges, expand broadband access and launch other infrastructure projects.

Biden and his aides say all of this new spending is a wise investment in Americans — and doable at a time of low interest rates. Much of it can be paid through raising taxes on the wealthy and would go a long way toward addressing the frailties of life for the middle class and working poor exposed by the pandemic, Biden argues.

“It is a blue collar blueprint to build back America,” President Biden added.

“We’re going to build back better. We have to do so with a strong workforce development piece,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi continued.

Republicans argue government should have a smaller role in job creation and allow Americans to reopen the economy.

Government is not here to create jobs. Government is here to create an environment where people do what they do and not get in their way,” Keller continued. “There is a jobs plan. There are plenty of small businesses hiring across all communities in America.”

Senator Tim Scott and others are criticizing the President’s first 100 days, saying he has not delivered on a key campaign promise: national unity.

“The actions of the President and his party are pulling us, further, further apart,” Scott added.

The President is hoping his package will pass this summer. The American Rescue Plan passed earlier this year with minimal Republican support.

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