President Joe Biden delivered his first address before a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, during which he announced a new assignment for Vice President Kamala Harris.
In addition to leading the diplomatic effort related to a migrant surge along the nation’s southern border, Harris is now in charge of the push to pass and implement the president’s massive American Jobs Plan, Fox News reports.
The vice president has also been tasked with playing a central role in promoting COVID-19 vaccines as well as the most recent legislation related to pandemic relief.
During his speech, Biden called his American Jobs Plan proposal, which tips the scales at more than $2 trillion, “a once-in-a-generation investment in America itself.”
Touting what he called the “largest jobs plan since World War II,” the president asserted that it “creates jobs to upgrade our transportation infrastructure” by “modernizing roads, bridges, and highways” as well as “building ports and airports, rail corridors, and transit lines.”
Furthermore, Biden promised that his proposal would “help our kids and businesses succeed in a 21st-century economy” by creating jobs aimed at increasing access to high-speed internet service.
“And I am asking the vice president to help lead this effort — because I know it will get done,” he added.
“To address these root causes”
Much of his speech was devoted to discussing the proposal and his remarks included at least 43 utterances of the word “job” or some variant.
Biden’s job-related rhetoric extended to his discussion of climate change, corporate tax hikes, family assistance, the pandemic, and even immigration reform. For her part, the vice president has already been working on the border issue, which Biden referenced during his remarks to Congress.
“When I was vice president, I focused on providing the help needed to address these root causes of migration,” he said, lamenting that the Trump administration prematurely ended that effort.
“I’m restoring the program and asked Vice President Harris to lead our diplomatic efforts,” Biden concluded. “I have absolute confidence she will get the job done.”
While the president expresses confidence, many Republicans remain highly critical of Harris’ efforts thus far, including an apparent reluctance to visit the U.S.-Mexico border to witness the situation firsthand.