WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), released the following statement in response to President Joe Biden’s address to a joint session of Congress:
“President Biden tonight laid out a bold vision for our nation, offered a path to a stronger economy for red and blue states alike and reflected on his Administration’s actions to deliver much-needed COVID relief for the American people. As President Biden underscored tonight, with his leadership and that of Congress -- our nation has in recent months met this crisis with the urgency it demands.
“I have long said that rapid, widespread and accessible vaccination is the only path back to true normalcy and robust economic recovery. Thanks to the President’s bold leadership and the resources marshaled by the American Rescue Plan, our nation is vaccinating millions of Americans a day and getting one step closer to putting this pandemic in the rear-view mirror. Over half of U.S. adults have received at least one vaccination dose. Small businesses and schools are reopening and unemployment is at the lowest point since the pandemic began. In towns small and large across Delaware, families are seeing light at the end of the tunnel.
“But like the President said, we must go beyond repairing what’s broken: We must build back better than before by creating jobs across our economy, empowering America to compete and win in the global economy and summoning our strengths to tackle our toughest problems, including climate change, crumbling infrastructure, racial injustice, and persistent barriers to health care and affordable education.
“I was encouraged to hear the President discuss his Administration’s commitments to expanding health care access, increasing the maximum Pell grant awards for students, and supporting working families by extending expansions of critical programs like the Child Tax Credit. This program enjoys widespread support and has helped lift many millions of children out of poverty.
“President Biden also raised the remarkable opportunity before us to make bold investments in our country’s infrastructure that can create good-paying jobs and reduce harmful emissions to tackle the climate crisis and save our planet. The American people overwhelmingly support the goals laid out in the President’s American Jobs Plan and, as Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, I’m working with my colleagues to make that vision a reality. To that end, we already have bipartisan water legislation currently before the full Senate and are drafting a surface transportation reauthorization bill that would help achieve these goals and build a better future for the American people.
“Tonight, the President also made clear his intentions to work with Congress to rebuild our broken immigration system to one that lives up to our values as a nation built and made better by immigrants. A nation that protects Dreamers, encourages family reunification, and ensures we tackle the root causes of irregular migration like poverty, violence, and extreme weather that compel so many migrants to seek a better life elsewhere. President Biden and Vice President Harris are committed to not only investing in programs that address these root causes, but also working with regional partners in the Northern Triangle countries to make sure they do their part as well.
“I am also heartened that President Biden announced concrete steps to promote racial equality across America, particularly in regards to how some in law enforcement treat Black and brown Americans. He understands that much work lies ahead to build trust between minority communities and those sworn to protect them and called on Congress to answer the nationwide calls for reform.
“Like the President said, we are still on the road to recovery. But tonight’s speech made me more optimistic than ever about the path ahead and I’m proud that the first Delawarean to serve as president is forging ahead on an agenda that helps Americans from all walks of life.”